- The 30th Conference of the A.I.K.S started with the flag hoisting by senior Vice President Com. H.K.S. Surjeet at 11 AM on March 6, 2003 and by offering floral tributes to the Martyrs’ column.
- The conference was presided over by AIKS President, Com. S.R.Pillai. The proceedings started with the adoption of the Condolence Resolutions and the Resolution on Martyrs, moved by Com. N.K. Shukla, AIKS Joint secretary.
- AIKS General Secretary Com. K. Varadha Rajan proposed the agenda and timetable, which was unanimously adopted.
- The Resolutions Committee, Credentials Committee and the Minutes Committee were unanimously elected.
a. Resolutions Committee
Coms. Benoy Konar, N.K. Shukla and Ashok Dhawale.
b. Credentials Committee
Coms. Bayya Reddy, Mukut Singh, Biplab Mazumdar, M. Prakasham and P. Shanmugham.
c. Minutes Committee
Coms. O. Sankaran, Ashutosh Mukherjee and S.P. Tiwari.
- On behalf of the Reception Committee, its Chairman Rachpal Singh delivered his welcome speech. He recalled the glorious revolutionary traditions of Punjab and expressed the confidence that the AIKS conference here will give a new and powerful direction to future peasant struggles all over the country.
- After the introduction of fraternal delegates from Trade Union International, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, China and DPR Korea, senior Vice President Com. H.K.S Surjeet, the veteran Kisan Sabha leader who has served the All India Kisan Sabha since its birth, inaugurated the conference. [Speech in full printed].
- President Com. S. Ramachandran Pillai delivered the Presidential address, in which he recalled the glorious anti-imperialist traditions of the AIKS and stressed the need for independent and united actions against imperialism, communalism and casteism, besides strengthening the organisation at all levels. [Speech in full printed].
- Foreign fraternal delegates then greeted the Conference. Atul Kumar Anjan, General Secretary of the AIKS (Ajoy Bhawan) and Vijay Javandhia, President of the Shetkari Sanghatana, while conveying their greetings dwelt upon various aspects of the agrarian crisis and assured the Conference of their solidarity in united struggles.
- On behalf of the working class, the conference was greeted by Com. M.K. Pandhe, General Secretary, CITU. After dealing with the grave challenges facing the country, its working class and its peasantry, Com. Pandhe asured the conference that the CITU and the AIKS would jointly carry forward the struggle, not only on economic issues but on political issues as well.
- The Conference was also greeted by AIAWU General Secretary, A. Vijayaraghavan, who stressed the need for unity in struggle between the peasantry and agricultural workers. He stressed that the struggle had to be on both economic and social planes, which would have to be converted into a political struggle against imperialism and against our own ruling classes. Among other mass organisation leaders who greeted the conference were AIDWA Joint Secretary Jagmati Sangwan, DYFI Joint Secretary K.N. Balagopal and SFI President K.K. Ragesh. The inaugural session of the AIKS conference came to an end by 2 PM.
- The delegate session of the conference began in the evening with the presentation of the General Secretary’s Report by Com. K. Varadha Rajan [full report printed separately].
- March 7- The second day of the conference was entirely devoted to the discussion on the General Secretary’s Report. In the nine-hour discussion 36 delegates from all the states attending this conference took part.
- The level of discussion was high in standard and rich in content. The general unity of approach towards the new liberalisation policies, deep awareness of the communal danger in the country, the need to go in for more and more united and independent struggles, especially on local issues, were reflected in the discussion.
- On the morning of March 8, after the reply of the General Secretary, in which he accepted many suggestions and criticisms and made some clarifications on certain issues, the report was unanimously adopted by the conference. The statement of accounts placed by the General Secretary was also unanimously adopted.
- The conference was then divided into commissions for detailed discussions on specific subjects.
a. Effects of LPG policies on our Agriculture
Com. Ashok Dhawale (Convenor)
Com. G. Mani (Tamil Nadu)
Com. Lahambar Singh (Punjab)
Com. Anil Basu (West Bengal)
Com. E. K. Narayanan (Kerala)
b. Irrigation and Natural Calamities
Com. Suryakant Misra (Convenor)
Com. C.K.P. Padmanabhan (Kerala)
Com. Mohd. Ali (Tamil Nadu)
Com. Krishan Swaroop (Haryana)
Com. Sheopat Singh (Rajasthan)
Com. Bejoy Kant Thakur (Bihar)
Com. Sumanto De (Tripura)
c. On Credit
Com. Subodh Roy (Convenor)
Com. Ashok Banerjee (West Bengal)
Com. P.P. Vasudevan (Kerala)
d. On Social Atrocities Panelists
Com. K. Balakrishnan (Convenor)
Com. Upen Kisku (West Bengal)
Com. Maruti Manpade (Karnataka)
Com. Radha Chandran Deb Burman (Tripura)
- In each of the commissions there was enriching discussion for six hours, in which several delegates and panelists took part. The convenors presented the reports of these discussions to the conference in the morning session on March 9. The conference directed the new CKC to formulate the tasks on the basis of the commissions’ reports. (Will be printed in second volume)
- The conference unanimously adopted the following nine resolutions:
a. On Iraq
b. On the Left Front victory in Tripura
c. Against eviction of tribals from forest lands
d. On reversal of land reforms
e. On International Women’s Day
f. On Union Budget
g. Against communal danger
h. On environment and earth summit
i. On drought relief
- The convenor of the credentials committee Com. Bayya Reddy placed the credentials report, which was adopted by the conference. (Printed in full).
- Certain amendments to the AIKS Constitution were unanimously approved by the conference. (Amended constitution being printed separately).
- Com. Benoy Konar, Vice President, proposed the name of Com. S. Ramachandran Pillai as the President and this was unanimously accepted by the conference.
- Then the conference unanimously elected 135 members to the AIKC. The new AIKC met and elected a 52-member C.K.C. and 13 office bearers. (Full list printed).
- The conference then concluded after Com. S. Ramachandran Pillai profusely thanked the volunteers and comrades of Punjab for hosting the conference in an excellent manner. He also succinctly outlined the tasks ahead of the AIKS. (Speech printed). The vote of thanks on behalf of the reception committee was delivered by Com. Lahambar Singh, secretary, reception committee
- On the evening of March 9, a big mass rally of thousands of peasants was held at the Guru Gobind Singh Stadium,’ Jalandhar. The meeting was addressed by Com. H.K.S. Surjeet, Com. Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, Chief Minister of West Bengal, Shri H. D. Deve Gowda, Ex-Prime Minister, Com. S. Ramachandran Pillai, Com. K. Varadha Rajan, Com. Balwant Singh, Com. Rachpal Singh and Com. Lahambar Singh Taggar
- The foreign fraternal delegates from Vietnam and Cuba, the two veteran AIKS leaders Shitala Prasad from Uttar Pradesh and Pandian from Tamil Nadu, who had joined the organisation over five decades ago in 1940, and the new All India office bearers elected at the conference, were introduced to the rally by AIKS president Com. S. Ramachandran Pillai.
The 30th conference of All India Kisan Sabha deeply mourns the sad demise of our former President Com. Binoy Krishna Choudhury, a legendary figure of historic Tebhaga movement, a freedom fighter and an outstanding Kisan leader of the country. He was elected president of AIKS in its 23rd conference in Varanasi and served organization in various capacities till he breathed last. The famous “Operation Barga” was pioneered by him when he was the Cabinet minister for Land Reforms in the Left Front Govt, of West Bengal. His death has caused an irreparable loss to the Indian peasant movement. We dip our red banner in the memory of Com. Benoy Krishna Choudhury and convey our heartfelt condolences to his family members.
The 30th Conference of All India Kisan Sabha deeply mourns the sad demise of our former General Secretary and vice president of CITU Com. N. Prasad Rao, a legendary figure of historic Telengana struggle. He was first elected the General Secretary of All India Kisan Sabha in 1953, held at Cannanur, re-elected in 1954, 1955, 1956 and in 1957. Life long devoted to the cause of toiling masses, and champion of worker-peasant unity, later he joined the T.U. movement. His death is a big loss for the democratic movement of our country. We dip our red banner in the memory of Com. N. Prasad Rao and convey our heart felt condolences to his family members.
The 30th Conference of AIKS deeply mourns the sad demise of com. M. Hanumanth Rao, a veteran peasant leader of Telengana Struggle and life long devoted to the cause of toiling masses. We dip our red banner in his memory and sends our heart felt condolences to the bereaved family members.
The 30th Conference of AIKS deeply mourns the sad demise of Com. Sailen Das Gupta Convenor of the Left Front of West Bengal, and a veteran freedom fighter and life long devoted to cause of tolling masses. We dip our red banner in his memory and sends our heart felt condolences to the bereaved family members.
The 30th Conference of All India Kisan Sabha deeply mourns the sudden demise of our C.K.C. member and Secretary of Tripura Kisan Sabha Com. Samar Choudhary. He was one of the outstanding leader of Tripura peasantry, a fighter for ethnic unity of Tribals and non-tribals. He had served the state both as an organizer and a cabinet minister before being elected Member of Parliament. We dip our red banner in his memory and send our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members.
The 30th Conference of All India Kisan Sabha deeply mourns the sad demise of Com. Susheela Gopalan, founder general secretary of All India Democratic Women Association and vice president of CITU, Com. Bimal Ranadive, senior leader of AIDWA and Working Women and one of the secretary of CITU; Com. Niren Ghosh, a veteran trade unionist, President of West Bengal unit of CITU and one of its founder secretary; Com. Santi Ghatak, former Labour Minister Of West Bengal, Left Front Government and President of State CITU; Com. Surya Narayana Rao a veteran trade union leader of Karnataka and Com. M. Udayam, a veteran women leader of Andhra Pradesh. We dip our red banner in the memory of these veteran comrades and send our heart felt condolences to the bereaved families.
The 30th conference of All India Kisan Sabha deeply mourns the sad demise of AIKC member and Vice President of Tamil Nadu Kisan Sabha Comrade V.A Karruppuswami, who was life long devoted to the cause of peasantry, and Com. R. Ram Raj, former CKC and AIKC member, a veteran kisan leader and former president and secretary of Tamil Nadu Kisan Sabha and dips our red banner in their memory and sends heart felt condolences to the family members. The 30th conference of All India Kisan Sabha deeply mourns the sudden demise Of Comrade E.M Sreedharan, an AIKC member who remained active and devoted to the cause of toiling masses till he breathed last. We dip our red banner in his memory and send out heart felt condolences to the bereaved family members.
The 30th conference of AIKS deeply mourns the sad demise of Comrade Narendra Malusare, AIKC member, a veteran peasant Leader and President, Maharashtra State Kisan Sabha; Com. Narayanlal Manat, Vice President of Rajasthan State Kisan Sabha and a respected tribal leader; Com. A.P Varkey, treasurer Kerala Karshaka Sangam and a veteran Kisan leader of Kerala; Com. Ramachandra Ghangare, vice president and veteran leader of Maharashtra State Kisan Sahba; Com. Suryasamat Roy, office secretary of Orissa, Com P Nagaswer Rao, a veteran leader of peasantry and agricultural worker of AP, N.K. Upadhya leader of toiling masses of Karnataka, Ravi Sinha veteran T.U. leader of U.P. Shailendra Shaily young and active leader of toiling masses of Madhya Pradesh. We dip our red banner in the memory of these respected comrades and send our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.
The 30lh conference of AIKS deeply mourns the sad demise of Coms. Indrajeet Gupta, veteran trade unionist and AITUC leader, Chitta Basu of Agragami Kisan Sabha, Tribid Kr. Choudhary of Sanyukta Kisan Sabha, PK Kodiyan, President BKMU and sends heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.
The 30th Conference of All India Kisan Sabha mourns the sad demise of Durga Bhabhi prominent freedom fighter and associate of Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Shiv Verma and other revolutionaries, Coms. Ayodhya Singh, freedom Fighter, eminent writer and editor of Swadinta, Hindi weekly; Md.Israil, eminent writer and editor of Swadinta; Mahadev Saha prominent progressive writer and veteran freedom fighter, Saroj Chaoudhary veteran leader of Insurance Employees; Sardar Jafri and Kaifi Azami, prominent writer and progressive poet; Dr. Ram Bilas Sharma, prominent progressive historian and sends heartfelt condolences to bereaved families.
RESOLUTION ON MARTYRS
The 30th Conference of All India Kisan Sabha strongly protests the brutal murder of COM. RAM NATH MAHTO State Secretary of Bihar Unit of All India Agricultural Workers Union and that of COM. VIDYA RAM RAJAK, one of the Secretary of Madhya Pradesh Kisan Sabha by the goons of landlords, salutes their martyrdom and pledges to carry forward the struggles for which they made their supreme sacrifice.-The conference dips its red banner in their memory and sends heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.
The 30th Conference of All India Kisan Sabha salutes the martyrdom of all those killed in land struggles and in struggles against the exploitation of toiling masses and those killed in fighting against separatist, terrorists and extremists, defending the cause of national unity and communal harmony. The conference dips its red banner in their memory and pledges to carry on the struggles for these noble causes. The conference sends its heart felt condolences to the bereaved families.
Comrade President, esteemed delegates observers and guests
I on behalf of the reception committee and peasantry of Punjab welcome you all it is a matter of great pride and privilege for Punjab that we are welcoming the tried and tested fighters and leaders of peasant movement from all over India. We feel highly obliged by getting the opportunity of hosting the 30th National Conference of All India Kisan Sabha which is one of the biggest mass organizations of the peasantry in the world representing 1,57,72,167 membership, with the units in all states of India. We firmly believe that the All India Kisan Sabha is such a revolutionary mass organization of the Indian peasantry which adheres to revolutionary principles of class struggle and which considers the peasantry as an important motive force of anti-feudal, anti-imperialist, anti-monopoly democratic revolution under the leadership of the working class. We proudly feel that it is because of adherence to this perspective and these revolutionary principles that AIKS is different from other peasant organizations in India.
Comrades; the city and area in which Punjab is hosting the 30th Conference is the area which had been the storm of national liberation movement in the state, the area which gave birth to many of the ghadar heros, to the Babbar Akalis, to Shaheed Bhagat Singh. It is the area in which ancestor village Bundala of Comrade Harkishan Singh Surjeet General Secretary CPI (M) and Vice President’of AIKS, falls.
Comrades; the peasant movement in Punjab has long traditions from the beginning of 20th century. Punjab is one of the Pioneer states which gave organizational shape to the peasants movement. The militant peasants struggle which succeeded in wresting some concessions from the callous hands of British imperialist rulers and which raised the flag of revolt against the imperialism high is the peasant movement popularly known as “Pagri Sambhal Jatta Lehar” of 1906-1907 led by Lala Lajpat Rai and Sardar Ajit Singh, uncle of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. In November 1906 the British rulers arbitrarily imposed three anti-peasant measures namely 25% hike in land revenue in Rawalpindi district. Increase in irrigation charges of upper Bari Doab canal and ban on cutting of trees from the peasant’s lands in Land colonization tract. An Editor of Jhang Sial news paper, Sh. Banke Dyal wrote historic revolutionary folk song “Pagri Sambhal Jatta” which roused lakhs of peasants. The sweep of the movement was such that the British Rulers were forced to climb down and withdraw the anti-peasant measures.
The valiant Ghadrite fighters were also the ruined peasants who went in thousands to Canada and America for eking out their livelihood. They organized Ghadar Party in America, whose founder president was Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna and who after coming back to India organized peasantry and was elected President of AIKS in 1940 at Palasa (A.P.) conference. Similarly it was other Ghadrite valiant-fighters like late Baba Jawala Singh, Baba Aroor Singh, Baba Santa Singh Gandiwind who after coming out from jails actively organized peasantry and led it for many years. I feel proud in informing you that the peasantry in Punjab along with struggle for its economic demands and other issues, played a vital role in freedom struggle against British imperialists. Babbar Akali movement and its leaders were also from the peasantry. Shaheed Bhagat Singh was also the nephew of Sardar Ajit Singh who led Pagri Sambhal Jatta Lehar.
The first mass organization of the Punjab peasantry who was groaning under usurious debt at that time, was organized in 1932 in the name of Punjab Kisan Committee. It was soon banned by the British imperialist rulers. In 1936, when All India Sabha was formed at Lucknow, Punjab was one of the units which became its first constituent.Comrade Harkishan Singh Surjeet is actively working for AIKS since then. In 1938-46 as well big struggles were launched by the Punjab Kisan Sabha against increase in land revenue and for equitable distribution of canal waters and against the hike in irrigation charges. The proud record of struggle of Kisan Sabha also consists of valiant fight against communalism. At the time of division of the country in 1947 upholding the banner of secularism and communal peace the Kisan Sabha workers laid their lives while protecting the minorities. The president of Punjab Kisan Comrade Gehal Singh Sajjalvadi was killed by the Sikh fanatics while protecting the Muslim minorities from communal org.
After the independence, the Kisan Sabha had to face“ severe repression at the hands of Congress rulers. In 1951 it organized armed struggle of tenants in Pepsu and some other districts and won the struggle for ownership of occupied lands braving repression of Landlord goondas and the state.
Again in 1959 the Punjab Kisan Sabha led a great struggle against betterment levy imposed by the then Congress Government of Partap Singh Kairon, who was very arrogant and let loose unheard of repression on the peaceful satyagrahis. In this spree of blind repression 9 men and women kisan volunteers were killed in Police firing. Severe repression had only enraged the peasantry. The movement became broad based. Even the peasants of Congress persuasion participated in the agitation. Thousands of peasants courted arrests. The Government had to accept the demands of the Kisan Sabha. The Chief Minister himself announced the reduction of tax from the Rs. 104 crores to Rs. 50 Crores. This story of heroic struggle of Punjab peasantry wrote an other glorious chapter in the history of the peasant movement in the country under the leadership of Kisan Sabha. Subsequent successful struggles of occupant tenants of evacuee lands along river beds for ownership rights and for reduction of cost of lining of water channels which were led by Punjab Kisan Sabha are also worth note.
Recently, the Punjab Kisan Sabha has taken up the issue of writing off of mounting debt burden of Punjab peasantry amounting to more than Rs. 6 thousand crores because of which about 100 peasants have committed suicide. It has taken up initiative to build a joint broad based and sustained struggle named “Karja Mukti Sangram” with a slogan “Do Not Commit Suicide But Put Up Struggle.”
The World Bank, IMF and WTO dictated-peasant agriculture policy of Vajpayee Central Govt, and Congress (I) State Government are ruining the Punjab peasants. Punjab being a surplus state in wheat and paddy production, the policy of virtual scrapping of MSP is hitting the peasantry in Punjab disastrously. The Punjab Kisan Sabha is in the arena of struggle on various issues and for protecting the peasants from ruin and for projecting alternative agriculture Policy.
Comrades; I want to report an other glorious deed of Punjab Kisan Sabha to you i.e. during black decade of 80s (eightees) when imperialist supported Khalistani Terrorist movement was there in Punjab threatening communal harmony, Hindu-Sikh unity and unity and integrity of India, Punjab Kisan Sabha and its leaders and activities kept high the banner of secularism, patriotism and struggle against communalists and separatists. In this struggle Kisan Sabha had to sacrifice its state General Secretary Comrade Sarwan Singh Cheema and a score of its other activists.
Comrades; inspite of the fact that the Punjab Kisan Sabha possesses such a heroic tradition of struggles, the peasant movement today is comparatively quite weak in the state. The main reason lies in the failure to re-orientate the work and movement to make it poor peasant and agricultural worker centered. I feel pleasure in reporting you that the Punjab Kisan Sabha has begun efforts to overcome these weaknesses in right earnest. It is hoped it will become equal to its immense responsibility quite soon.
Comrades; the modest arrangements and the facilities we could provide you here are bare minimum which are required to create the congenial environment for making your deliberations successful. These modest and improvised provisions for your stay made by the Reception Committee are only a little glimpse of the traditions of hospitality for which Punjabi people are known. And all this have become possible because of the liberal and enthusiastic contributions made by the peasantry in cash and kind in massive response to the appeal of the reception committee.
Comrades; there are bound to be some short falls and inconveniences which if brought to the notice of the reception committee shall be rectified, as far as possible at the same time. There may be some other inconveniences which may be beyond our capacity to rectify. I hope in such cases you will bear with us by showing large heartedness of a comrade.
Comrades; the 30th Conference of AIKS is the 5th one which is being hosted by us. We may inform you with pride and humility that the first conference which we hosted was 7th one in 1943 held at Bhakna Kalan (Amritsar) in the ancestral village of Baha Sohan Singh Bhakna founder president of Ghadar Party and also President of All India Kisan Sabha in 1940 and in whose name the whole complex of 30th conference is named; 12th Conference of AIKS was held at Moga in 1954; 14th Conference was held at Amritsar in the land of Jallianwala Bagh in 1956 and then 21st conference was held at Rurka Kalan (Jalandhar) in 1971. Comrades we sincerely hope that the 30th conference of AIKS will provide an alternative peasants friendly democratic and scientific agriculture policy and also usher in an era of country-wide strong united peasants movement and thus will become a historic milestone and bacon light for the Indian peasantry thereby accelerating the advance of democratic movement in the country.
With these words, Comrades, I once again welcome you all and assure you that the reception committee will work with full mite to make the 30th conference of AIKS a grand success.
RACHHPAL SINGH Chairman, Reception Committee
Opening Speech By Com. Harkishan Singh Surjeet
Sisters & Brothers,
At the outset permit me to greet all of you on the occasion of the 30th conference of the All India Kisan Sabha. This is an organisation with which I recall my proud association for over six decades. From a humble beginning in 1936, the AIKS has steadily grown to be the premier organisation of peasants in the country with a membership of 15,772,167 in the year 2001-2002.
The AIKS was formed in the background of the deterioration of the agrarian economy, aggravation of the economic and social exploitation of the peasantry and to channelise the growing discontent amongst the peasantry on radical lines. Much before the organised kisan movement in the shape of the AIKS took shape, spontaneous struggles and revolts took place in different parts of the country. On occasions, these struggles assumed a militant form and were sought to be suppressed violently. Some of these were the Mopallah rebellion in Malabar, the Santhal rebellion, the Indigo revolt in Bengal, the Wahabi movement in upper India etc in the 19th century. But the deepening crisis in agriculture in the twenties and the thirties of the 20th century saw the peasants being burdened heavily and village artisans and craftsmen losing their jobs. It is in the background of this situation and the appalling conditions created in the wake of the Great Depression that leading members of the Congress Socialist Party met on 16th January 1936 to discuss the question of the peasantry. This meeting gave a call for holding of a Kisan conference of organisations of peasantry from different provinces in the country on 11th April 1936. Initially known as the All India Kisan Congress, the conference was attended by Swami Sahajanand Saraswati, N.G. Ranga, Indulal Yagnik, Mohanlal Gautam, K.M. Ashraf, Sohan Singh Josh, Jaiprakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia among others. Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Congress President greeted the conference.
The formation of the Kisan Sabha galvanized the peasantry into action in different parts of the country. Peasants were neck-deep in debt and there was pent up anger against the landlord-usurer combine. One of my colleagues in those days had said of the peasantry in Punjab that the extent of the debt was such that the amount would equal a line up of camels laden with bags of silver coins from Jallandhar to Amritsar. It is against the rising indebtedness that in 1935 a conference was organised at Cheemakalan focusing on this specific issue, which I had the opportunity of attending. The conference was organised by a Ghadharite, Baba Karam Singh Cheema. Within a year the movement spread forcing the Unionist government to bring a legislation eradicating indebtedness. It was this movement that laid the basis for the foundation of the AIKS in Punjab.
The pre-independence period also saw struggles like the Tebhaga movement in Bengal, the Surma valley struggle in Assam, the struggle of the Warli tribals in Maharashtra, the Punnapara- Vayalar struggle in Kerala and the struggle of the Jhumias in Tripura. Crowning all these struggles was the historic Telengana struggle.
It was the awakening created by these movements and the peasant upsurge that forced the Congress governments in post-independent India in the states to legislate on Land reforms. The Congress slogan of land reforms was a mere slogan, as no attempts were made to sincerely implement these legislations, which in any case had many loopholes. Now under the new dispensation and the liberalisation regime, even these legislations are being amended and the land ceiling legislations are being done away with. Big tracts of land, including waste land is being given to big business and MNCs.
It is indeed appalling that even after 55 years since independence, the conditions of the vast majority of the fanners and those dependent on agriculture, continues to be grim. Small size of land-holdings, high prices of agricultural inputs, lack of irrigation, nonavailability of remunerative prices etc are ills that have not been removed.
The concentration of land in a few hands is revealed by the fact that while on the one hand around 1.6 per cent of total landholders occupy approximately 17.3 per cent of the total operated area, on the other hand 59.4 per cent of landholders operate just 15.1 percent.
The 8th plan says that “land is the single most important asset in rural India. ”During the last fifty years and more we have talked a lot about land reforms, but we have achieved little. Land is a state subject. But we have had governments in the centre and in the states ruled by the same party for most of the time. Even when legislations have been enacted, they are not being implemented.
Apart from generating markets, essential even for developing the capitalist economy, land reforms empowers the poor and the oppressed. The experience of West Bengal is there before all of us. Once a deficit state, Bengal has become self-sufficient in food. The state’s GDP stands 5th in the country. In the last several years there has not been a single report of atrocities on scheduled castes and tribes, according to the Union Home Ministry.
Land reforms has changed the rural landscape; the rural economy and the rural social fabric. It deals a blow to vested interests in the rural areas and accelerates agricultural and rural development. Both in terms of acres distributed and the number of beneficiaries West Bengal ranks no. 1. Out of 52,68,584 acres distributed throughout the country, West Bengal alone accounts for 10,34,273 acres and out of the 54,65,174 beneficiaries, 25,01,533 are from West Bengal.
Lack of funds hampers growth and development of infrastructure. Irrigation continues to be one of the most neglected areas with just 36 per cent of the crop area being irrigated. Not more than 25 per cent of cultivable land can sow’ two or more crops in a year. Therefore, 75 per cent of the total cultivable land has to do with just one harvest.
This, is a gross under-utilisation of our resources. Simultaneously, it also means unemployment for 4 to six months a year. Two-thirds of our agriculture land is rain-fed. Failure of monsoon leads to drought conditions. Abuse of ground water is threatening the water table. Drastic increase in budgetary provisions for increasing irrigational facilities and by encouraging water conservation at the community level will help to maintain this balance.
In recent years agriculture has been accorded shabby treatment with framing of policies heavily loaded against it. The new agricultural policy announced two years ago, only aggravates the crisis.
Liberalisation has led to a shift from foodgrains to commercial crops. This in turn has led to a fall in the rate of foodgrain production. The removal of quantitative restrictions on the import of a number of agricultural has hit the peasants. There has been a crash in the prices of coconut, rubber, pepper, groundnut, tobacco, cotton, tea, coffee, sugarcane, apples etc. Imports of agricultural produce have gone up four fold during the period 1995-2000.
The focus has now shifted to agro-processing, foreign investment and exports. The important link between agricultural production and access to food is being ignored.
With central procurement of foodgrains and distribution through the FCI being discarded, peasants are at the mercy of the big traders. All these are leading to increasing the rich poor divide in the countryside. The steep fall in the prices of agricultural commodities is forcing the poor and the middle peasants to resort to distress sales.
Another alarming problem which needs immediate attention is the question of increasing debt among the peasantry. This combined with crop failure on account of spurious pesticides and other agricultural inputs has led to an increasing number of suicides in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra etc.
Today, while we are meeting here, imperialism is making renewed and aggressive efforts to redominate and establish its hegemony worldwide. It is preparing for an aggression on Iraq, despite vehement and vociferous protests all over the world. Such a situation could not have been imagined till the end of the eighties when the Soviet Union and the socialist camp existed. For full four decades since the second world war, peace prevailed in the world and no major war took place thanks to the Soviet Union acting as a bulwark against imperialist machinations. But the disintegration of the Soviet Union and setbacks in the East European countries have emboldened imperialism and its drive to impose a new world order. That such a situation cannot continue for long is evident from the opposition to its war efforts from within its own allies and people.
Simultaneously, we are also witness to big political and regime changes. The victory of a Leftist candidate, Lula Da Silva in the presidential elections in Brazil and the defeat of the efforts to subvert the Hugo Chavez government in Venezuela underline the growing resistance to imperialism and the neo-liberal policies.
In our country, the end of the monopoly of power by the Congress has seen the communal forces headed by the BJP occupying the vacuum. The weakness of the Left and democratic forces has paved the way for the assertion of the rightist forces and their gaining centre-stage. The continuance of the BJP in office at the Centre threatens the very existence of India as a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual entity.
After having comeback to power in Gujarat on account of a campaign of hate and merciless killings, the BJP now is unashamed in announcing that it will go back to its own Hindutva agenda, rather than relying on the NDA agenda. The defeat of the BJP in the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, clearly shows that the BJP cannot win without an aggressive communal campaign.
In Tripura however, the Left Front has swept back to power for the third consecutive time. This inspiring victory shows the confidence of the people in the CPI(M) and the Left Front, despite the adverse situation faced by the state. It has been a rebuff both to the Congress and the extremists with whom it had an alliance. But the state unit had to pay a very heavy price in terms of loss of lives.
More than 30 of our comrades have lost their lives during theelection campaign alone.
The Budget for the year 2003-2004 carries forward the pro-imperialist agenda of the Government. Like the previous Budgets, it is explicitly pro-rich and anti-poor, providing major fiscal concessions to big business and the rich while entailing further increases in living costs of workers and peasants. It does nothing to address the two most crucial problems of the Indian economy today— the crisis in agriculture and the collapse of employment avenues.
All that the finance minister talks about is “respond robustly to second-generation issues such as land degradation and water logging. Diversification, resonance with market-forces and a swift adoption of sunrise technologies…”
The Finance Minister has nothing to offer to the peasantry reeling under the impact of price-crashes. On the contrary, the budget raises the price of fertilizers at the very time when output prices have crashed. The Budget talks of making agricultural credit available at 2 percent above the Prime Lending Rate, but since the amount of credit for agriculture has itself declined to well below the stipulated “norm”, with private, especially foreign, banks being the worst culprits, the rate reduction means little.
The 50 paise cess on diesel and the Rs. 1.50 per litre additional excise on light diesel oil will have a cascading effect on all costs and prices, including in the agricultural sector.
This 30th conference if the All India Kisan Sabha is taking place at a place known for its historical importance. This place has given birth to worthy sons like Bhagat Singh and many of the Ghadarites; it was a strong hold of the Akali movement, of the Babar Akalis and remains a stronghold of the Left and democratic movement in the state. The Doaba peasantry has been steeled in struggles-whether it be the Moga morcha, the betterment levy struggle or the various other struggles fought in Punjab.
This conference is being held in the Ghadhar party memorial hall. This should provide inspiration to our comrades coming from all over the country.
I am sure that in the ensuing days, when you are here, you will discuss the report that would be placed by the General Secretary, discuss the problems before the agrarian scenario and enlighten and enliven the discussions with your own experience. I am sure this conference will go a long way in carrying forward the slogans of developing the Kisan Sabha to every village in the country and preparing the peasantry for mightier struggles.
I thank you all
On behalf of All India Kisan Sabha, I greet the fraternal delegates, delegates, veteran kisan leaders and friends. I congratulate the Punjab unit of the Kisan Sabha for taking up the responsibility of holding the 30th conference of the All India Kisan Sabha. The peasantry and the common people in Punjab hailed the decision to hold the conference and have generously contributed to the success of the conference. We are holding the all-India conference in Punjab for the fifth time. Earlier, all-India conferences were held at Bhaknakalan in April 1943, Moga in September 1954, Amritsar in September 1956 and Rurkakalan in September 1971.
Punjab is a land of heroic struggles. Punjab had contributed a great deal to India’s freedom movement and peasant movement. When Lala Lajpat Rai and Ajit Singh were arrested and sent to exile in 1907, the peasantry came out in big numbers to protest the action of the British government. When we think about Punjab, the role played by Gadar revolutionaries, Jalianwalabag massacre, the big resistance struggle, Navjawan Sabha, Bhagat Singh— all will appear in our memories. The heroic struggle of the Punjab peasantry against betterment levy is one of the glorious struggles of the peasant movement in India.
Comrades, you have come to attend this conference with rich experiences of agitations and struggles against the wrong policies of the government.
Our 30th conference is being held in the backdrop of the US war efforts on Iraq. Disregarding all world public opinion, the US imperialism is making all preparations to launch a war on Iraq. Great Britain is supporting the USA in their war efforts. There is no justification on the war against Iraq. This war is against all international laws. This will be the first occasion in modern times when one country announces that it will launch a war on another country for the sole purpose of achieving a “regime change”. Iraq is a small country of 2.3 crores of people. The world’s ancient civilisation— Babilonian and Mesopotamian— flourished on the banks of Euphrates, Tigrese, which flows through Iraq. Iraq now occupies an important position because of its rich oil wealth.
The United States oil companies have full access to the oil fields in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. Iraq is refusing entry of US imperialists in the oil sector.
The charge of the Bush administration that Iraq possesses arms of mass destruction is a lie. This has been exposed even by the inspection teams sent by United Nations. Now, Bush administration states that they do not care the reports of the UN inspection team.
The United States aims to occupy Iraq to control its rich oil resources and to send a message to other countries that the US orders should be obeyed to avoid its wrath.
The US imperialism is using its military superiority to establish its domination on the economic and political life of other countries. If the US succeeds in this, the emerging world situation would be a dangerous one.
The freedom loving and peace loving people all over the world are raising their voices and coming forward to oppose the war efforts of United States and Great Britain. Anti-war demonstrations are taking place throughout the world. The BJP-led NDA government is not coming forward to oppose the US war efforts on Iraq.
The US imperialism is also threatening people’s democratic republic of Korea.
All India Kisan Sabha was formed during India’s freedom struggle against British colonial powers. Kisan Sabha has been consistently fighting against imperialism, its exploitation and efforts to dominate. Upholding the banner of anti-imperialism, all units and members of the Kisan Sabha should come forward and unite with all sections of people to oppose the US war efforts.
Our fight against the US imperialism is intimately and inherently connected with our fight against IMF-World Bank-WTO dictated economic policies. These international institutions are now acting as instruments of exploitation of imperialist countries particularly the US imperialism. India and most of the developing countries are witnessing crash in prices in the case of most of the agricultural produces. This is the result of the conditionalities imposed by WTO. Multinational companies are expanding their tentacles in the agrarian sector and exploiting the wealth of the developing countries and the peasants and agricultural workers.
Now discussions are going on in the World Trade Organisation on agriculture and related issues. United States of America is forcing the developing countries to accept their dictates. Military superiority is used to exert pressure on the developing countries. A broader unity of the developing countries is needed to resist the US and other imperialist countries attempt to dictate terms. India is loosing its credibility and acceptability in the international community and is being isolated as a result of the pro-American stand taken by the BJP-led NDA government.
Kisan Sabha should come forward to rally more and more peasants against the imperialist’s moves and particularly the US imperialist’s moves.
The NDA government is not addressing the problems of agriculture and the peasantry. They take care of the interest of only multinational companies, big business and richer sections. The NDA government at the Centre is the worst anti-peasant government India has ever seen. The budget presented by the Central government is anti-peasant and anti-agriculture.
The General Secretary’s report will deal with the agrarian situation in great details. I do not wish to explain those aspects. The agricultural policy of the present government has ruined the life of the peasantry and agriculture. Starvation deaths and peasants suicides are happening in different parts of the country. Poverty is spreading to newer sections and newer areas. Unemployment is rising. Backwardness is persisting in a major part of the country. Pauperisation of the peasantry is taking place at a faster pace.
The unrest among the peasantry is growing. Resistance is slowly gaining strength. Some are spontaneous and some are organised. Kisan Sabha has to intervene and try to organise them and channelise them in the proper direction. Kisan Sabha units and activists should be vigilant and active in intervening in all agitations and struggles. We Should try to rally much wider sections against the disastrous policies of the government.
All India Kisan Sabha stands for a strategy of agricultural development centered around the interests of the overwhelming majority of the peasantry. The essence of this strategy is to increase productivity and production and ensure equity. Instead of retreat of the state from economic affairs, All India Kisan Sabha demands state’s positive intervention.
The present NDA government led by the communal fanatic party, the BJP, is trying to divide the society on communal lines. They are responsible for the communal carnage in Gujarat. In many other parts of the country, they organise attacks against the minority communities. Minority communalism is also doing mischief in many parts. All India Kisan Sabha has the rich heritage of fighting against all varieties of communalism and upholding the unity of the people. Communal division is weakening the fighting strength and unity of the people. We should fight against the communal forces who are trying to divide the people.
Another aspect which is dividing the society is the caste division. Caste division is disrupting the class unity that is needed for fighting against the ruinous policies. All India Kisan Sabha should organise campaigns against caste divisions and try to mobilise the peasantry to struggle against all forms of caste oppression. We should fight against degrading caste practices, social oppression of women, evil of dowry system, bride burning and all forms of pernicious social and religious custom which devalue human life.
All India Kisan Sabha is the largest peasant organisation in the country with a membership of over one crore and 57 lakhs. Even though Kisan Sabha is the largest peasant organisation, it is comparatively weak in certain states, particularly in the Hindi-speaking states and certain other areas. This unevenness in growth is restricting the efforts in building powerful all-India movements and struggles. Our conference should discuss how the organisational weaknesses and shortcomings can be remedied and build organisation in the weaker areas.
The dictates of the international institutions, MNCs and imperialist countries have to be resisted. The anti-peasant/anti-agricultural policies of the NDA government have to be reversed. The country needs a new strategy of agricultural development centered around the interest of the poorer sections who constitute the overwhelming majority. Widest possible unity of the peasantry is needed to achieve these aims. The conference will discuss and chalk out a programme of action for building maximum unity among peasants and agricultural workers.
The peasantry should further strengthen unity with workers, middle class employees and all other toiling sections of people. The conference will discuss how to achieve this.
All India Kisan Sabha and other Left-led peasant and agricultural workers organisations should come more closer and take the lead in building widest unity among peasant and agricultural workers organisations to fight against anti-peasant, anti-agricultural policies of the government.
This is an important occasion of serious review of the experiences of the activities, assessment of the present agrarian situation in order to formulate the future tasks. I am confident that the conference will efficiently discharge its responsibilities.
On behalf of All India Kisan Sabha and personally on my behalf, I once again, greet you all and congratulate the Punjab unit of the All India Kisan Sabha.
Long live peasant’s unity.
Long live peasant’s, worker’s unity.
Long live All India Kisan Sabha.
S. Ramachandran Pillai
All India Kisan Sabha
General Secretary’s Report
We are meeting here at Jalandhar, Punjab exactly four years after our last conference held at Kozhikode, Kerala from March 5- 8, 1999.
This was a period of fast changing developments in the international and national scene. Fresh attacks by the imperialists and also growing resistance to their economic and political onslaughts all over the world characterized this period. In India also, this was a period of more agitations, struggles and activities. We had to face severe attacks by landlords and their goons, police and other paramilitary forces, and obstacles created by communal and other divisive forces. In spite of all these attacks, we have conducted many independent actions and some joint actions along with other peasant and mass organizations. We have assembled here to seriously evaluate these activities in order to concretize our future tasks.
During the last four years, we have seen the deepening of the world economic crisis and renewed imperialist offensive in all spheres. The latest annual report from the United Nations titled ’World Economic Situation and Prospects 2003’ confirms both the depressing trend as well as uncertain chances of recovery. Total world output in 2002 is estimated to have grown by only 1.7 percent in real terms, which is one of the lowest annual growth rates recorded since the Second World War. The developed market economy showed the lowest rates of growth, with continuing G.D.P.(Gross Domestic Product) decline in Japan and one percent growth in the European Union.
The U.S. recorded growth of real G.D.P. at 2.4 percent for the whole year, but with evidence of deceleration especially in the last quarter. Under these conditions, world imperialism led by the U.S.A. is seeking to emerge from this crisis by further intensifying attacks in all spheres.
During this period, U.S. imperialism has mounted a political and military offensive, brazenly assaulting the national sovereignty of various countries. The U.S-led NATO intervention in Yugoslavia, the continued deprivation of the Palestinians of their right to a homeland, intervention in Venezuela etc are being strengthened in the post September 11, 2001 situation. Most dangerous of all, the U.S. has prepared to launch a war against Iraq, despite the U.N. inspection team not finding anything wrong. There have been massive protests all over the world against the American war plans. The longterm objective of U.S. imperialism, in terms of gaining control over world oil resources, is one of the main reasons for this attack. More than 1,50,000 troops were mobilized to attack the second largest producer of oil. According to the U.N. report, if military action were to take place in West Asia, it would be a further brake on world economic growth.
The imperialist countries, making use of international institutions like the IMF, World Bank and WTO, are attacking the entire world especially the developing countries, to ensure their domination of the world market. Some of the mechanisms for this new domination are policy and legal changes such as:
- Privatization of land, water and common pastures and jungles, so that these are removed from community ownership and given to private corporate interests to use and dispose off according to their wishes.
- Removal of quantitative restrictions on all imports including food, textiles, and products of cottage and small-scale industries.
- Allowing giant agribusiness corporations to control food and other agri-based production and distribution.
- Dismantling of the Public Distribution System and ending procurement by government agencies, leaving both the peasants and the consumers at the mercy of multinational corporations.
- Changes in patent laws and plant variety legislation to allow multinational corporations to become owners of seeds, plants and biodiversity.
- Allowing unrestricted import of hazardous technologies and seeds (without proper indigenous research), thereby using third world agriculture as a guinea pig for their research.
- Reducing government investment in all fields like irrigation, power, market regulation, input production etc and cut in subsidies for both inputs and outputs.
The period since the Kozhikode conference has seen worldwide protests against globalization as well as against U.S. military interventions in pursuit of its efforts to strengthen its global hegemony. There is an emerging backlash against capitalist black markets and privatisation of economic resources in favour of MNCs across the world. Violent protests have derailed the sale of state owned companies in several countries.
Leftist politicians in several countries, especially in Latin America, are combining local issues and economic nationalism to great effect. Venezuela’s deepening revolution, the social and economic crisis in Argentina, the significant victory of a Leftist president in Brazil, huge protests and massive strikes sweeping across the world- all these are important indicators.
The recent anti-war demonstration in Florence was the biggest demonstration against war and neo-liberalism. According to reports 5 lakh people marched on the streets of Florence on November 9, 2002. The January 15 and February 15,2003, demonstrations all over the world have shown the rising protest of the people against war and U.S. imperialism. On February 15, more than 60 lakh people participated in the demonstrations held in hundreds of major cities in the world.
The world thus finds itself facing a new imperialist offensive in all spheres. That such an offensive is being mounted in the midst of a grave economic crisis, in itself sets in motion the process of greater resistance all over the world.
At home, the BJP-led government at the centre during the last four years has not spared any effort to harm national unity. The recent heightening of tension on the Ayodhya issue and the savage killings indulged in Gujarat in the name of religion are a pointer to the path on which the rightist forces intend to take the country. After Gujarat, they are now trying to widen their activities for communalizing the society. Tensions are being created systematically to reap political and electoral benefit by dividing the community on religious lines. They seek to utilize anti-Pak sentiments as the proxy to spread hatred against Indian Muslims. Thus we find in various ways, a systematic effort to undermine secular democracy in India. This is being done to advance the RSS agenda and facilitate the transformation of the Indian Republic into a fascistic “Hindu Rashtra”. It is this agenda that has to be defeated if India is to retain its secular, democratic, republican character.
Among the Muslim minorities also, fundamentalist forces are active. Though a big section amongst the Muslim community is against these forces, the fundamentalists exploit the growing frustration among sections of Muslim youth. The AIKS, while resolutely defending the rights of minorities, reiterates that minority fundamentalism is also harmful to democracy and must be countered.
The last four years have seen an accelerated pursuit of the economic policies of liberalisation and privatisation, which has increased the exploitation of people and widened social inequalities. The economic situation in the country is worsening day by day. The servicing of foreign debts has reached a stage where, for the past four years, fresh loans are being taken in order to repay past loans and interest. During the decade of economic reforms in the nineties, employment was estimated to have grown by 1.01 percent per annum compared to 1.55 percent in the eighties. Large-scale closure of units, both private and public, is leading to massive retrenchments and lay-offs. Privatisation of public sector units is going on with speed. The withdrawal of the state from education, health and other fields connected with the basic needs of the people has meant that the common people will have to pay more for these services.
This period has also seen the growing authoritarian threat to democracy, attack on the federal structure, attacks on peasants and widespread corruption in governance. The BJP-led central government, which is the most pro-imperialist government in independent India, is changing the country’s foreign policy in favour of the USA.
CRISIS IN AGRICULTURE
The agricultural sector has become the target of globalization in recent years. The advanced countries have been eyeing the Indian market and through incessant pressure exercised through WTO, have succeeded in getting quantitative restrictions removed fully. The trend of slowing down of growth rate, crashing of prices, increased cost of inputs and reduction of subsidies, etc has been continuing at a faster pace resulting in widespread unemployment, depressed level of wages and deepening poverty, leading to hundreds of suicides by farmers in various parts of the country.
The growth rate in agriculture achieved in the 7th, and 8th five year plans was 3.7% and 3.9% respectively, but the growth rate achieved in the 9th five year plan (i.e. 1997-2002) is just 2.06% much below the targeted growth of 3.9%. This means that the growth rate of around 4% in the pre-reform period has come down to less than 2% in the post-reform period.
The government has confirmed that 2002-03 has been disastrous for Indian agriculture. As per the second advance estimates of crop production released by the Agriculture Ministry on February 10,2003, the total grain output this year will drop by almost 29 million tonnes (m.t.) or 13.6 per cent to 183.17 m.t.
Similarly, oilseeds production in 2002-03 is estimated to fall by almost 25 percent to 15.44 m. t,, which is, in fact, the lowest since the ’pre-technology mission’ figure of 12.35 m.t. for 1987-88.
In the case of cotton, the decline is by about 11.4 per cent, with the expected output of 8.94 million bales being only marginally higher than die 8.74 million bales level of 1988-89.
Within foodgrains, the decline has been sharp (over 53 per cent) for bajra, which is grown mostly in drought hit Rajasthan. The fact that the failure of the monsoon has impacted most on coarse cereals is borne out by the fact that expected output Of 25.10 m.t. will be the lowest since the 23.14 m.t.level registered in 1972-73
#+CAPTION PAGE: PRODUCTION OF FOOD GRAINS, COMMERCIAL CROPS
Besides the general decline in production of major food crops, what is to be noted is the decline in production of coarse cereals, the poor man’s food. According to NSS, the poorest 40% in rural areas are still deriving 75% of their nutritional needs from coarse cereals.
Considering the situation of lower rate of growth of foodgrain production as compared to growth of population in the last ten years, experts warn that India will become a net importer of foodgrains in another 20-30 years. Projected demand of foodgrains around the year 2030 would be about 260-264 million tones. So it is very clear that our food security and nutritional security is in great danger in the coming years.
The alternative agricultural policy document adopted by the All India Kisan Sabha and the All India Agricultural Workers Union in 1993 clearly stated: “This new set of agricultural policies cannot solve the problems of the peasantry or of agriculture. On the other hand, these new policies will accentuate the process of pauperization of the majority of the peasantry, increase rural unemployment and poverty, change of the cropping pattern in the country, forcing us to depend on foreign imports of foodgrains:” Our apprehensions have been proved correct by the subsequent events and developments.
But the rate of growth of crop production in West Bengal showed an entirely different trend where the growth rate in agricultural production was nearly 5 percent. Let us see how the Mid Term Appraisal of the Ninth Five-Year Plan explains the West Bengal situation.
The rate of growth in crop productivity in West Bengal during 1977-95 was nearly 5 per cent, due to land reforms and spurt in private shallow tube well irrigation. Security of tenure has altered the credit relations that had earlier trapped the peasants in debt cycles. With increasing access to institutional credit, the farmer was able to put more land under HYV cultivation. He also invested in shallow tube wells, thanks to easy availability of ground water. With assured irrigation, the cropping pattern during rabi also changed in favour of high value for non-food crops such as potato, oilseeds etc.“
The growing crisis in agriculture is the result of the pro-rich policies being pursued by the central government and various state governments since independence. Instead of effecting radical land reforms, the Congress governments relied on the approach of the big landholder-based ’green revolution’ in order to fulfill the foodgrain needs and requirement of raw material for industries. While the green revolution enabled India to achieve self-sufficiency in foodgrains and end its dependence on imports, it also increased the disparity between regions and between the poor and rich in rural India.
Inability of small and marginal peasants to manage cultivation cost of their lands, eviction of small tenants in huge numbers, increase in agricultural labourers and large scale migration, unevenness in growth, increase in unemployment and poverty etc are the impact of the policies pursued by bourgeois-landlord governments after independence. The last ten years’ experience of LPG policies suggests that the remedy is worse than the disease itself. The new policies have only led to starvation deaths and suicides by poor peasants in many parts of the country.
REVERSAL OF LAND REFORMS
Many state governments have amended the ceiling provisions in their land reforms acts and have reversed whatever little positive they had in their earlier acts, to enable big business and multinationals to purchase vast fracts of land. Many state governments have already started giving wasteland to private companies including the multinationals.
Recently the Tamil Nadu Government has come out with a scheme of handing over 50 lakh acres of government wasteland to multinational companies and private farms. According to the scheme, a private farm can take more than 1000 acres of land on lease for thirty years. The scheme, which is called the “wasteland development” scheme, is actually an effort to evict poor people from their land, as most of these lands were already under occupation of poor people, but without pattas. A good section of these wastelands are common grazing lands of the villages. The new scheme will hand over these common grazing lands to the multinationals and local big business companies.
Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and some other states are also planning to hand over government wasteland to MNCs.
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MOEF) has issued a circular in May 2002 in which the state governments are ordered to evict all the tribals and non-tribals from their lands, calling them encroachers. Though the circular states that encroachments after 1980 will be removed, the entire 100 million strong tribal population is going to be affected as most of them have no legal records even for, the lands they have been occupying and tilling for many decades.
The BJP-led government’s circular on evictions of tribals from forests is a clear reversal of all the earlier guidelines by the central government in this regard, especially the guidelines of the SC/ST commission of 1990. The SC/ST commission clearly stated that settlement of disputes and claims of the tribal people should not be done on the basis of the record of the forest department or revenue department. Instead it had suggested that involving village committees is the best method of settling disputes. These and other valuable recommendations of the SC/ST Commission were not implemented by any state government, except in the Left-led states.
The circular tries to differentiate between pre-1980 and post-1980 encroachments. But the real differentiation is to be made between the use of forest land by their natural owners, the tribals and other landless poor on the one hand, and the land-owning encroachers and richer sections exploiting the forests for commercial purposes on the other.
REMOVAL OF QUANTITATIVE RESTRICTIONS
The BJP-led central government removed the quantitative restrictions on import of agricultural commodities. India thus opened its market and made the farming community vulnerable to highly subsidized imported products. Already cheaper imports of skimmed milk powder, edible oils, sugar, tea, arecanut, apples, coconut, silk, cotton etc have started flooding the Indian market. The US imperialists and other developed countries have raised their subsidies for agricultural products under various heads and kept the world market prices low in recent years to enable MNCs to flood the markets of developing countries like India.
For example let us see some of the following details. The export subsidy given by the US for milk and allied products in the year 1998 was 56.64 million dollars. The same year the export subsidy given by the EEC for milk products was 127.32 million dollars.
|Country||% of the total value of agriculture produce|
The “Farm Bill 2002” introduced in the US Congress has sanctioned a further subsidy of 173.5 billion dollars over and above the existing 300 billion dollars which is being already provided. The best example is that the US pays $ 193 per tonne to US soyabean export companies, while the actual price of soyabeans is $ 155 per tonne.
With this huge subsidy and artificial world market prices, MNCs are flooding the Indian market while simultaneously imperialism advises India to change to commercial crops for exports.
Some sections among the rich in India have supported the liberalization policies in the hope that free trade would bring higher prices for their crops and increase the scope for export of agricultural crop. But experience has proved the reverse. According to the latest report, agricultural exports of India, which were worth 6.83 billion dollars in 1996, had declined to 5.67 billion dollars in 1999, which means a decline of more than 16% between 1996 to 1999.
Another crucial question is, have the developed countries honestly implemented the World Trade Agreement, which had directed all the countries to bring down the high tariff walls built to restrict imports from other countries? The reply is “No”, as is evident from the following quotation from the Annual Report of the World Bank on Global Economic Reforms.
“There is a stark contrast between words and deeds and double standards are applied by the quad countries (USA, EU, Japan and Canada). The quad countries tariffs for trade among themselves range from 4.3 per cent in Japan to 8.3 per cent in Canada, but their tariffs to keep out developing country exports are in some cases as high as 550 per cent. Products with high tariffs in quad countries include chocolate, tobacco, some alcoholic beverages, fruits, vegetables, textiles, clothing and footwear. These are the sectors in which the developing countries have a competitive and comparative advantage. High trade barriers imposed by the industrial countries on agriculture and processed food imports, along with agricultural subsidies, have contributed to the decline in developing countries’ share of world trade in these commodities”.
ENTRY OF MULTINATIONALS IN FOODGRAINS MARKET
Bowing to the pressures of World Bank, WTO and multinational corporations, the BJP-led government has already opened the foodgrain market to giant companies like Cargil. Direct procurement and processing is leading to closure of small, local as well as larger mills that provide livelihood to lakhs of people , The Planning Commission’s report has suggested that import duties on wheat and rice will be brought down to zero level, besides allowing 49% foreign direct investment in retail trade of foodgrains and other agricultural commodities.
These recommendations made in the Planning Commission report titled “Excess foodstocks, PDS and procurement policy” in the name of promoting decontrol, are actually meant to further strengthen monopoly control of the Indian agricultural market. These recommendations are also a brazen intervention against the federal polity of the country since they seek to clamp the hands of states, by asking them to amend the respective state acts on agricultural produce and marketing and eliminate all taxes in this sector.
DISBANDING PDS AND PROCUREMENT
In recent years, procurement of paddy and wheat in many states was either disbanded or reduced drastically. For other crops the government’s job ends with just announcing the MSP. With this callous attitude of the government and the flooding of various products from other countries, slashing of prices of almost all crops was witnessed. This led to hundreds of suicides of indebted peasants in various states. The huge stocks of foodgrains in government godowns are used as an excuse for abandoning the procurement and MSP system. But the huge stocks despite fall in growth of production are mainly due to reduced purchasing power of the poor people of India. Abandoning the PDS in the name of “targeted system” is another reason.
Different issue prices for the “below poverty line” and “above poverty line” population were introduced in 1997-98. For APL, issue prices were raised by 85% for wheat and 61% for rice between 1998-99 and 2000-01. In 2001 BPL prices for wheat and rice were also raised by 66% and 62%. This has reduced the off-take heavily in these three years, which has led to a huge stock of over 60 million tonnes in government godowns, which in 1998 was only 21.7 million tonnes. So the important factor for huge increase of stocks is the process of dismantling the public distribution system by reducing the number of beneficiaries and increasing the issue prices which led to reduced off-take. There are 26 million people who are below the poverty line according to government estimates, but in reality their number is much more. It is this section that is heavily affected due to disbanding of procurement and of the public distribution system.
CHANGES IN PATENT LAWS
The Indian Government, bowing to World Bank and WTO pressures, has passed laws such as patent on plants and plant variety legislation that allow private monopoly over seeds. Multinational corporations have already acquired patents on basmati and some other rice varieties and other agricultural crops. Corporations like W R Grace have acquired patents on Neem, and other companies on Turmeric, Ginger, Pepper, Jeera, Karela, Jamun and other gifts of mother nature. Entry of major corporates started in 1988 itself, when the new seed policy was announced by the then Congress central government. Corporate companies are already holding more than 40% share of the Indian seed market. After liberalization, entry of the corporate sector increased in a big way. The seed industry in India, which is having around Rs 2000 crore annual turnover and a growth of about 15 per cent per year, is the main area of interest for the multinational companies. Seed corporations like Monsanto are unleashing genetically engineered seeds like terminator, Bt cotton, genetically engineered rice varieties etc which would totally wipe out our crop diversity.
The recent controversy over allowing commercialization of Bt cotton in southern India brought out many facts regarding this. Our general approach to genetically modified crops is that we should not allow multinational companies to make India a testing ground with the new patent regime and to monopolize the seed industry. With this in mind we demanded withdrawal of permission to Mahyco (collaborating with Monsanto) allowing the commercialization of Bt cotton. But the Government permitted the commercialization. Recently, a survey conducted in several villages in Andhra by a research group has come out with shocking revelations. According to it, Bt cotton has not helped to increase productivity and lessen pest attacks. According to their survey report, in most of the villages in Andhra, peasant earnings using Bt cotton were much less than the earnings from ordinary cotton grown by them for many years.
Besides the uncertain future prospect of effects on environment etc, there is yet another dangerous effect. Farmers select, save and exchange the best seeds from a good crop to use them again at the next sowing season. With 70% of farmers being small and marginal in our country, this practice is suited to the conditions in India. Global corporatisation of seeds and agriculture is destroying the independence of the farmer. As it is, India spends just 0.46 percent of agricultural GDP on research. The need is to improve and restructure national agricultural research so that advanced technology can be used after proper research by our experts.
The entry of multinationals has increased not only in the seed industry but also in the fertilizer industry. The fertilizer industry, where around 1/3 of the fertilizers were produced by public sector units, is now shrinking due to closure or privatization by the government. Recently the BJP govt, has closed down fertilizer units of Durgapur in West Bengal, Barauni in Bihar and Sindri in Jharkhand. 10 MNCs and 25 large Indian business houses already dominate the pesticides industry. Now they are going into the hands of corporate houses either by merger or acquisition. Reduced government intervention in these fields and reduction of subsidies have already led to steep rise in prices of fertilizers and pesticides.
Besides, this period has seen privatization of electricity in many states, which has led to steep increase in electricity charges. The recent ban on cross subsidy in power rates is another attack on agriculture and poorer sections of the peasantry.
The deregulation of the dairy sector is another onslaught on farmers. It is done due to growing pressure from the private sector and in view of the WTO prescriptions. Due to the latest proposal in the budget doing away with the compulsory licensing for dairy plants handling or processing more than 10 thousand litres and doing away with the milk shed areas provided for such plants, more than 200 milk cooperatives in the country involving lakhs of peasants and workers have been seriously affected. Multinational dairy farms, which were eying the vast Indian market for a long time, have already entered this field and have started ruining the dairy co-operatives.
Privatization and commercialization of water resources is the latest proposal by MNC-dominated organizations and the World Bank. The world forum on water in which all major countries participated recently came out with a ministerial declaration. The declaration states that “Because of its scarcity, water must be treated as one of the economic goods and the consumers should be charged the full cost of providing water services.” This is an effort for corporate takeover of water resources. According to reports, a further push towards privatization of water is going to come soon through discussions under the General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS). This is an area that is likely to see intense lobbying by MNCs soon.
In India, the newly formed Chattisgarh state has privatized water supply from river Sheonath. Following this, the Antony Government in Kerala has already approached London and Washington based multinational companies for privatization of water of Periyar and Malampuzha rivers. With the slogan that the market will decide everything, the Government of India is drastically reducing government investment in production of inputs for agriculture, which has already led to a steep increase in the cost of agricultural inputs.
The agricultural sector, which is starved of investments, is further affected by the liberalization policies. Budgetary support to agriculture from first plan to tenth plan has shown a steady decline. The agricultural sector, which employs about 64 percent of the total work force and contributes about 24.2 percent of the GDP, is the backbone of the Indian economy. However, the agricultural sector that received 14.9 percent allocation in the first plan is now getting only 5.2 per cent. In 2000-01, public investment in agriculture was down to Rs 4122 crores from Rs 4467 crores in 1993-94.
Because of this, even after five decades of independence, only 35 percent of agricultural land in India is under irrigation. And even in the irrigated areas, the second generation of problems are now coming to the fore-the canals are silted and drainage systems are not in place. Hundreds of irrigation projects are pending for years. Some of them, which were started in the 6th plan, have not seen completion until now, which means a drastic increase in the construction costs. Now, the Government is talking about increasing private investment in agriculture. But the experience is that private investment will not flow into this sector unless there is adequate public investment.
Though the Government is talking about Kisan cards, online purchasing-crediting system etc, the credit facilities for farmers, especially for the vast majority of small and marginal farmers, is still very low. Most of the poor farmers are not getting Kisan Cards due to the limitations fixed by the government and because of the attitude of bank authorities. According to reports, more than 70% of the credit got by small and marginal farmers is mainly coming from private sources. After the nationalization of banks, it was made mandatory for banks to provide 40 percent credit to the priority sectors, which includes agriculture that was to get a share of 18 per cent.
However, what agriculture is getting is hardly 11 per cent. Maximum portion of this amount also goes only to richer sections. The trade liberalization has also led to budget cutbacks on extension and withdrawal of low interest credit from co-operatives and public sector banks. The peasants, especially the small and marginal peasants, have to take high interest loans from companies who sell them hybrid seeds and pesticides and also from private moneylenders. As a result, peasants have been buried under the weight of unpayable debts. This financial stress is the reason for an epidemic of suicides in Andhra Pradesh and other states.
Serious ecological changes are taking place due to defective planning, excessive use of chemicals, failure to draw up proper long term plan to meet natural calamities, excessive use of resources etc. In 1970-71,41 per cent of total irrigated land was dependent on government canals. Tube wells accounted for only 14 per cent of the irrigated land. By 2000 tube wells were irrigating more than 35 per cent of all irrigated land, while canals accounted for only 30 per cent. This has meant a major drain of ground water resources. Excessive dependence on ground water in states such as Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu, Gujarat and Maharashtra has led to steep lowering of ground water level. The increasing dependence on ground water stems from a steady decline in public investment in agriculture.
Even if properly used, the amount allotted in the central budget for agriculture is not sufficient even to maintain the existing irrigation infrastructure. The excessive use of chemicals has resulted in contamination of water, soil degradation, water logging and increased incidence of diseases and pest attacks. While short-term gains in terms of production were achieved, over a period of time the productivity has declined, major erosion of bio-diversity has occurred and the resource base is polluted and contaminated.
The worst drought the country witnessed in 2002 has added ’salt to the wound’ in the life of the peasants. Last year’s drought is the worst in the last thirty years, with practically the whole country being affected. According to estimates, the area sown with paddy is lagging behind 57 lakh hectares, oilseeds 9 lakh hectares, pulses 17 lakh hectares and cotton 12 lakh hectares. Besides this, floods affected some parts of the country like Bihar, parts of Assam and North Bengal.
Rajasthan and some other states are the worst affected due to drought since there is not even fodder available for cattle. High death rates of cattle and distress sales were witnessed in Rajasthan and some other states. Poor and landless labourers, the tribals, dalits, women and children are the worst affected. Migration of rural workers in large numbers and starvation deaths in many parts of the country are continuing. Drought is affecting the people’s livelihood, their health and children’s education. Past experience shows that during droughts the dropout rate from schools increases significantly. Drinking water has become a big problem, with many places getting water once in three or four days. The work pressure on women in rural households has further increased. The time and energy they spend in fetching drinking water, firewood and fodder has increased.
The estimated requirement of drought relief fund that has so far been submitted to the central government by various state governments is more than Rs 35,000 crores. But the central government has so far allotted only around Rs 2000 crores. Even this paltry amount does not reach the affected people due to corruption and reckless attitude of many state governments. Due to widespread struggles by the peasantry, the central government announced waiving of interest. But even this is not implemented so far, and new credit for the next season is not assured.
The crop insurance scheme, which existed from 1985, was a flawed scheme. Only those who were taking loans from banks and co-operatives were covered by it. We have demanded for a long time that the scheme should be restructured and it should be assured that the scheme should reach the poorer sections and cover the expenses of cultivation. From the year 2000-2001 the Government of India has started implementing the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme, replacing the earlier crop insurance scheme. According to the new scheme, non-loaner farmers can also insure their crops. This scheme also has many conditions detrimental to the interests of the farming community, like not taking the village as a unit to decide the compensation amount, excess premium rate for some crops etc. Because of this, the scheme is not widely accepted by the farmers. This scheme also remains effectively connected only with bank and co-operative loans.
CONDITIONS OF THE AGRICULTURAL WORKERS
The agricultural workers are the worst affected because of the liberalization policies. The working days per year came down from 123 days in the eighties to 78 days in the nineties. The number of agricultural workers is increasing with impoverished peasants entering their ranks continuously. Landless labourers constituted 24.94% of the rural population in 1981, 26.50% in 1991 and over 30% now. Except in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, the wages of agricultural workers are stagnant or declining. The central government is adamantly refusing to pass a central legislation for agricultural workers to ensure wages, social security measures and compensation benefits.
This is the section most heavily oppressed due to our caste-dominated society, and thus the agricultural workers in India are the worst oppressed, both in class and caste terms. Women agricultural workers are the worst sufferers because of denial of equal wages, lack of sanitation, non-availability of drinking water, health facilities etc. besides other evils of a male-dominated society.
The All India Kisan Sabha, unlike many other Kisan organisations, supports and initiates the demands of the agricultural workers. In West Bengal agricultural workers are enrolled in the All India Kisan Sabha and the West Bengal unit is taking up various issues affecting them.
In the light of these serious attacks, let us try to sum up our experience and major activities in the last four years after our Kozhikode conference.
Let us at the outset recapitulate the major decisions of the last conference and how we have been able to carry them out.
The Kozhikode conference directed us:
- To take up the most important issues of the peasantry on the basis of concrete study and to rally the peasantry in struggles on local issues.
- To take up anti-imperialist issues and rally the broadest sections in the struggles against imperialism.
- To raise the political consciousness of the peasantry and to release them from the ideological influence of the bourgeois-landlord classes.
- To organize independent and joint struggles against LPG policies at various levels.
- To concentrate on crop wise issues to mobilize particular sections.
- To take up issues like atrocities on SCs, STs and other backward classes and on women.
It is not possible to narrate all the activities of this period, nor is it necessary. Here we shall try to sum up the experience of the major activities during this period, in order to further concretize the emerging immediate tasks.
ALL INDIA MOVEMENT
The main activity in this period was the united movement by Left-led kisan organizations and agricultural workers’ unions. With our initiative the Left-led Kisan Sabhas and agricultural workers unions held a convention at Delhi on August 21, 2000.
The convention analyzed the agrarian situation in the country and the effect of the new agrarian policies on various sections of the peasantry. It gave a call for a massive Delhi march on November 30, 2000. The convention, which was attended by more than 700 delegates from all over India, also gave a call for propaganda campaigns in states
The campaign in states and the Delhi rally got very good response from the general farmers. The Delhi rally reflected the anger and agony among the peasantry and was attended by more than 1 lakh peasants and agricultural workers. Our mobilization was around 50,000. It is to be noted that this participation was from the weaker states only. Our strong units like West Bengal, Kerala, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu had only formal representation due to long distance from Delhi. The main chunk came from Bihar, UP, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat etc. Because of the response created during the state campaigns, thousands of peasants from non-Left organizations of Karnataka and Punjab also participated.
The rally was a great success and it gave a call for All India picketing before central government offices on February 5-6-7,2001. States took the initiative and the response of the peasantry was very good. But unfortunately, the picketing programme was postponed to March because of the severe earthquake in Gujarat.
The response the movement created can be judged from the following facts. Karnataka, due to the local conditions did not postpone the picketing and conducted it from February 5 to 7 itself. It was estimated that more than 1 lakh peasants, agricultural workers, students and youth participated in the programme in the state. Rail rokos and road blockades were conducted in more than 150 places spread over 21 districts. Voluntary participation of peasants without affiliation to any organization in many places was an encouraging phenomenon.
Though almost all the states did their best, the picketing in the month of March in other states was below expectations.
The West Bengal Kisan Sabha with other Left-led organizations conducted campaigns and organized massive demonstrations before central government offices at district and village level. This was done in the midst of the electoral battle in the state.
In Kerala on March 29 and 30, 2001 picketing was conducted at one centre in each of the assembly constituencies. Assembly level conventions were also held before the picketing.
In Tripura, all India programme was observed in 42 places wherein more than 40 thousand people participated. Intensive campaign before picketing had a good response in the state.
In Andhra Pradesh dhamas were conducted all over the state in 37 centres covering 17 districts.
Tamil Nadu conducted demonstrations all over the state on March 30.
Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, UP, Haryana, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and Maharashtra conducted demonstrations and picketing in district and taluk headquarters.
The CKC meeting held on July 14-15, 2001, reviewed the struggle and came to the following conclusions:
All India joint actions of Left-led Kisan Sabhas and agricultural workers unions generally got good response all over India.
Enthusiasm was dampened to an extent due to postponement of picketing and due to elections in many states during March.
The meeting also came to the conclusion that we have to carry forward this unity, trying for united actions at state level. After a number of such programmes, we can again try for All India actions involving the Left and various other organizations.
The All India Kisan Sabha participated in the activities organized by the National Platform of Mass Organizations. March to Parliament on March 9, 2000, convention at Delhi on February 19, 2001 and countrywide anti-budget demonstration on February 21, 2001, saw our active participation. But in the other All India action calls of the NPMO, the participation in many states was not up to the expected level. Lack of proper co-ordination at the state level and non-inclusion of concrete issues of the peasantry in the NPMO demands were also some of the reasons for this weakness.
The All India Kisan Sabha actively participated in the programmes organized by the World Federation Of Trade Union in this period. Seminar on Social Security, Social Protection for the informal sector and rural workers etc was held successfully in Delhi on December 9-10, 2002.
STATE LEVEL JOINT ACTIONS
Many states have conducted successful joint actions on the effects of LPG policies in their states in this period. Some of the important struggles are as follows: –
Maharashtra conducted some major joint struggles in this period, on the issue of electricity and prices of cotton and sugarcane, under the banner of the Maharashtra Rajya Shetkari Shetmajur Sangharsh Samiti (MRSSSS), which is the joint struggle committee of Left peasant and agricultural workers organisations. On November 6, 2001, as per the MRSSSS call, over 20,000 peasants and agricultural workers held demonstrations all over the state against the proposed hike in electricity charges. Tire Sangharsh Samiti conducted massive demonstrations all over the state on the question of price of cotton and sugarcane, and on other burning local issues, on August 9, 2002, in which over 30,000 peasants participated. The committee also conducted a massive statewide action on October 2,2001 against the import of agricultural products, in which over 50,000 peasants participated. They made a bonfire of imported agricultural products in front of government offices. All the above actions culminated in a 25,000-strong statewide demonstration of the peasantry on the Nagpur state assembly on December 12, 2002. The Kisan Sabha participation in all these actions was impressive.
The joint committee of Kisan organizations in Punjab has conducted united struggles on the issue of loan waiver, procurement and electricity charges. The struggle organized demanding procurement had a good response. A state level dharna conducted at Chandigarh for indefinite period in 2001 was a grand success and was attended by more than 30,000 peasants. The Government accepted some of the demands.
The formation of “Irrigation Pump Sets and Power Consumer Struggle Committee” in Karnataka was also a very good experience in this period. Opposing the hike in electricity charges and privatization, one-week dharna in front of KPTCL (Electricity offices) offices between April 1 to April 7,2002 and a road blockade on May 18, 2002 was conducted. Both the activities were successful. Road blockade was conducted in more than 80 centres spread over 18 districts. This struggle raised the confidence of our cadres considerably and also gave recognition to the Kisan Sabha in the state.
The indefinite picketing conducted in front of the state assembly on the issue of electricity supply, struggles on the issue of reconstruction of Ganga canal, and against cut in irrigation facilities were inspiring examples of joint struggles conducted by our Rajasthan unit in this period.
We have narrated above only some of the joint struggles conducted in states, especially in the weaker states, which got good response among the peasantry. Experience shows that by taking up local issues at the right time and with proper preparation and continuity, we can effectively conduct joint struggles and force the state governments concerned to concede some of our demands. On the issue of drought, flood, and other natural calamities many state committees have conducted effective joint struggles at state and local levels.
SOME IMPORTANT INDEPENDENT ACTIONS
All India Kisan day was observed all over India to campaign against the new economic policies and to present our alternative to the peasantry on September 1, 2000.
In West Bengal, units of the Kisan Sabha organized many campaign marches, each comprising few villages, and commemorated the foundation day with public meetings and flag hoisting. Kerala State Committee conducted the campaign against the new economic policies with special concentration on the BJP government’s export- import policies. Village level rallies, flag hoisting and house-to-house campaigns were organized to educate the peasants, besides celebrating the foundation day of the AIKS.
In Tripura, a campaign by holding processions and meetings at sub-divisional and village levels was organized. This campaign also targeted the extremists’ game plan to foil the Left Front Government. All over the state, flag hoisting and street corner meetings were conducted.
AIKS foundation day was observed at 265 places spread over 28 districts in Bihar through demonstrations at district headquarters, flag hoisting and public meetings in the state, altogether covering 150 blocks.
UP, Rajasthan and some other states celebrated the foundation day as “Save Kisan Day” through flag hoisting and public meetings.
In April 2000, the Maharashtra State Kisan Sabha organized a 15,000-strong independent statewide peasant rally in Mumbai on burning peasant demands. This was preceded by large independent peasant conventions in 21 districts.
CAMPAIGN AGAINST LPG & FOR DROUGHT RELIEF
The CKC gave a call for a “campaign fortnight” from August 17 to September 1, 2002 to explain the disastrous effect of LPG policies. It was decided that the campaign should end with district rallies on September 1, Kisan day. Subsequently, because of the severe drought, the campaign was combined with the drought relief campaign.
The West Bengal unit observed the campaign fortnight through rallies, marches and demonstrations from August 1 to September 1. Several lakhs of people participated. In Kerala the campaign was conducted on August 17, as Peasant Demands Day, by holding village level public meetings and demonstrations in thousands of villages.
Tripura and Assam observed the campaign fortnight holding rallies in many places. In other states, it was combined with drought relief struggles.
Rajasthan Kisan Sabha conducted Tehsil and Block level demonstrations all over the state between September 1 and 15. More than 50,000 peasants and agricultural workers participated. District level gheraos on October 10 and a state level demonstration on October 23 were also organized.
In Tamil Nadu, a special conference on drought was held on September 1,2002 at Dindugal wherein 2500 participated and a joint conference of delta farmers was held at Tanjore on June 30, 2002. Picketing, rasta roko and dharnas were conducted at district and taluk headquarters.
Madhya Pradesh Kisan Sabha organized demonstrations and dharnas in tehsil and district headquarters. A state level campaign was also organized which culminated in Bhopal, wherein 6000 activists courted arrest. In Bihar gherao was organized in 15 districts, demanding flood relief and drought relief, facing brutal lathi charge in various places. A successful bandh with the support of Left parties was also organized on October 1. Uttar Pradesh Kisan Sabha organized demonstrations in 32 districts with participation ranging from 2000 to 5000.
Orissa conducted a statewide campaign, which culminated in a march to Raj Bhavan on August 9, 2002. Haryana organized rally and rasta-roko at Mundal on November 1, 2002 and dharna before Raj Bhavan, preceded by a number of campaigns. Karnataka had their state level mass rally on September 2,2002 at Bangalore wherein 7000 participated. Kisan day was observed in many districts. Three district conventions were also held. Flag hoisting and group meetings were organized at village and mandal levels. A booklet was also published. Uttaranchal and Gujarat also conducted the campaign between August 17 to September 1.
CROPWISE AND SECTIONWISE CONCENTRATION
During this period we have taken some initiative to concentrate on particular sections and also particular crops in the given area. This has given good results. With the initiative of the Fishermen Association of West Bengal (affiliated to West Bengal Kisan Sabha) we held an All India Convention of Fishermen at Nadia on February 17 and 18,2001. The convention, attended by cadres of CITU and AIKS working among fishermen, decided to form an All India Fishermens Association. The association was subsequently formed in Puri. Some of the states have held their state conferences. All India Conference of this organisation is to be held in Kerala soon.
Apart from the Gana Mukti Parishad in Tripura, separate organizations for tribals affiliated to the AIKS are functioning in Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. In Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Assam, tribals have been directly organized in the Kisan Sabha since a very long time. Recently some initiative has been taken in Jharkhand and Chattisgarh to organize the tribals and concentrate on their issues. This is to be given more attention in the coming period.
Crop wise concentration in sugarcane, coconut, silk and milk producers, was attempted in this period. North West Zone and South Zone conferences of sugarcane growers were conducted in UP and Tamil Nadu respectively, followed by campaigns and movements. A coconut growers’ convention was conducted in Kerala and the subsequent struggles in the coconut growing areas had a good impact. Milk producers were organized separately in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka on their issues. 8000 silk cocoon growers attended the silk cocoon growers rally and demonstration conducted at Bangalore on January 10,2003. Besides Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Andhra peasants also participated in this rally.
In this period we tried to intensify land struggles wherever possible. Though no big struggle was conducted in this period, some efforts were definitely made. The most important actions were the resistance to the eviction of tribals and non-tribals from forest lands that was ordered by the BJP-led central government through its circular of May 2002.
In Bihar, we held a state level convention at Patna on June 6-7, 2000. The convention organized in cooperation with the Agricultural Workers Union gave a call for demonstration before the State Assembly. Over 10,000 peasants and agricultural workers participated in the demonstration. A rasta roko programme was also organized on August 14, 2000. Following divisional conventions, a new stage of land struggle started on August 6 during the course of which more than 7000 acres of land in various districts were occupied. Three tribals were martyred in Ranchi district of Jharkhand and more than a dozen in Bihar became martyrs in land struggles during this period. But the widening and consolidation of this struggle did not take place.
In Tamil Nadu, a special state conference on land was conducted on June 1,1999, in which more than 10,000 peasants and agricultural workers participated. The conference, besides proposing a new land reforms act, has given a call for occupation of government wasteland etc. But the movement was not pursued with proper vigour. Now the state government has come with the proposal of handing over 50 lakh acres wasteland to private companies and multinationals. Tamil Nadu Kisan Sabha held a state conference against the scheme at Madurai, which was attended by 900 delegates. The Kisan Sabha also filed a court case. The issue is to be pursued and struggles for direct occupation and against eviction are to be vigorously conducted in the coming period.
In Maharashtra the CPI(M), AIKS and AIAWU led a massive land satyagraha from October 2 to 15, 2002, in which over 1,30,000 participated, and out of these, over 1,00,000 courted arrest in 20 districts. The most important issue was the vesting of forest land in the names of the tillers and opposition to evictions. Other issues concerning land like grazing lands, house-sites etc. were also taken up. As a result of this struggle, the state government was forced to stay the eviction process and had to come out with a government resolution laying down a procedure for vesting the forest lands in the names of the tillers. In Madhya Pradesh a successful struggle on the tenants issue and land struggle to retain 3000 acres of land of SC/ST people was conducted during the year 2000, is worth mentioning. In Andhra Pradesh the issue of endowment land (more than 3 lakh 50 thousand acres) has been taken up and struggles are going on now, for recording of actual cultivators. In Assam thousands of peasants have taken part in agitations against eviction from forest land. In many states it will become a big issue in the coming days and proper concentration is to be given on this issue. In West Bengal, some lands which were left undistributed due to problems of a different nature and court cases were taken up now. Some new lands are also being released from the richer sections and are being distributed among landless and land poor people.
STRUGGLES FOR REMUNERATIVE PRICES
The issue of remunerative prices occupied the main place during this period, because of the crash in prices of almost all crops. All our state units have conducted independent and joint struggles on the question of remunerative prices. In Kerala, a statewide picketing was organized on July 12,1999 to protest against the export import policy of the central government, which led to fall in prices. During these four years Kerala Kisan Sabha has conducted various agitations on the issue of prices for coconut, rubber, and other products of Kerala. A signature campaign and demonstration at Delhi on December 13,2001 was held.
Andhra, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Punjab and Rajasthan took up the issue of remunerative prices and conducted many struggles.
Tamil Nadu Kisan Sabha organized rasta roko and picketing for remunerative price of onion, tomato and tapioca, besides organizing picketing in front of sugar factories in the year 1999. Independent and joint struggles for sugarcane price and the price of tealeaf of Nilgiris district were conducted during these four years.
Maharashtra Kisan Sabha took up the issues of cotton prices, continuation of Monopoly Cotton Procurement Scheme and sugarcane prices and payment of arrears, and conducted many struggles in this period. On the issue of sugarcane price, opening of sugar mills and payment of huge arrears, campaigns and agitations were conducted in U.P. and Bihar in 2002. In Karnataka, the issue of the price of Red-gram was taken and rasta roko conducted facing brutal lathi charges. Andhra has conducted struggles on the issue of tobacco, silk cocoons, paddy etc many times during the last four years. The struggles conducted by the Punjab state committee on the price and procurement of paddy and wheat has already been mentioned
POWER AND IRRIGATION
The struggle against power tariff hike in Andhra conduced in the year 2000 was a major activity in this period. From the last week of May 2000 for over six weeks, militant protests were organized all over the state. Mass demonstrations, satyagrahas and picketing of state ministers were conducted, facing brutal lathi-charge and bullets. The struggle was conducted by the CPI(M) and the Kisan Sabha took active part with thousands of peasants participating in dharnas, picketings and rasta rokos.
In Madhya Pradesh, the state unit organized demonstrations all over the state on October 11, 2002 against the power tariff hike and for its proper supply. Independent and joint agitations were conducted all over state on November 6,2001and April 1 to 7,2002, with good response.
Big mass campaign for early completion of the ongoing Teesta project was conducted in West Bengal in the year 1999. Seminars on river erosion and floods were conducted successfully, especially in Malda and Murshidabad districts. On water harvesting, preservation and utilization, a state level workshop was organized in Bankura.
Andhra Kisan Sabha organized dharna in Hyderabad on March 2 to March 4,1999 to highlight the issue of pending irrigation projects wherein 3000 participated every day. Many struggles for implementing Cauvery Accord were organized through various forms in Tamil Nadu, during these four years. Karnataka has taken up the issue of pending irrigation projects in three districts in 1999 and organized dharnas, picketing etc.
Maharashtra in this period saw a massive and successful joint struggle against Enron in 2001 and against the proposed privatisation of the MSEB in 2002. The AIKS participated in strength in both these struggles that were jointly led by the left and secular parties.
Besides these, many state committees have taken up local irrigation issues and completion of projects, which generally evoked good response.
ON SOCIAL ATROCITIES
Social atrocities on Dalits are one of the main issues on which the Kisan Sabha has to concentrate. Though we have been stressing this in all the CKC and AIKC meetings, initiatives taken by state committees are not encouraging. In this period some attempts were made in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, besides some initiatives in MP, UP and Bihar.
Tamil Nadu Kisan Sabha has conducted state level cycle jatha programme, which culminated in Pudukkottai on Ambedkar’s birth anniversary. The conference at Pudukkotai was attended by more than 7000 peasants and agricultural workers. The campaign and subsequent struggles got good response and in some areas helped to widen the organization to new areas. Campaign and struggles conducted in Andhra in 2000 and 2001 got good response. In both the states widening and consolidating the movement is necessary.
UP has conducted a district convention on atrocities on dalits in 2000 at Azamgarh. In Bihar, a state level and some district level conventions were organized in 2002. Madhya Pradesh has also taken up the issue and conducted some local struggles. Excepting West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura where the Left movement is strong, the atrocities on SC/STs is a very big problem, which has to be seriously addressed by our cadres.
SOME OTHER MOVEMENTS
Chilika lake movement: the issue of fishermen’s right over Chilika lake is a long-standing issue. Orissa Kisan Sabha took leading role in the struggle and a Bandh was organized on June 5, 1999 to press the fishermen’s demand and against police atrocities. The struggle in various forms is continuing and our Kisan Sabha is playing a role in the joint action committee of ’Chilika lake’ movement.
BIRSA MUNDA CENTENARY
At the call of the AIKC, the centenary of the great tribal leader Birsa Munda was celebrated in June 2000, highlighting the problems faced by tribals. A statue of Birsa Munda, donated by the West Bengal state committee was unveiled at Ranchi, Jharkhand on June 26. More than 5000 tribals attended the function.
COMPENSATION FOR LANDS TAKEN BY THE ARMY
The AIKS and AIAWU jointly conducted a struggle for compensation to actual cultivators and agricultural workers for the lands taken over by the army. The ten-day blockade of administrative offices in Ganganagar, Rajasthan by thousands of peasants and agricultural workers, especially women, has forced the Government to come to an agreement on compensation for peasants and agricultural workers. The struggle started on September 17, 2002 and participation by 5000 peasants and agricultural workers continuously for ten days led the movement to success. Women played a significant role in this struggle.
We have brought out our bulletin regularly during this period. 500 copies are being printed and distributed. The response has been good but since it is only in English, it cannot be used for education of cadres in many states. Arrangements should be made by the states to bring out a bulletin with articles translated from the central bulletin. Effective contribution of the state leadership will make the bulletin more useful.
In the last conference we discussed the general weaknesses in the organization in detail and also worked out some tasks. The main tasks decided were:
- To strengthen the All India centre and to improve contacts with the states
- To strengthen state and district centres by deploying effective cadres
- To conduct cadre training camps at state and zonal levels regularly
- To ensure democratic functioning of the Kisan Sabha at all levels
- To conduct unit level and mandal level conferences every year and ensure regular functioning of these units
- To take steps to stop fluctuation in membership and consolidate the organization
We have to seriously discuss in this conference, how far we have been able to carry out these tasks in the last four years.
- When we met in Kozhikode in March 1999, our membership was 1,28,45,248. Now the membership is 1,57,24,636, an increase of around 29 lakhs. But the membership of West Bengal is 76.1 present of the total membership. West Bengal and Kerala put together account for 87.5 percent of the total membership. The unevenness in membership continues.
- As far as the weaker states are concerned, fluctuation in membership figures is the main problem as can be seen from statewise membership.
- Though there is no breakthrough in any of the weaker states, it should be noted that in some states where some constant efforts were made there is notable improvement in the membership.
- There has been an increase in membership in Rajasthan by (96%), Tamil Nadu (37%), Karnataka (74%), Orissa (109%), Himachal Pradesh (41%), Maharshtra (35%). But Andhra’s membership is not only highly fluctuating but has also suffered a reduction of 51,000 between 1998-99 and 2001-2002.
Out of the increase of 29,26,919 in membership in this period, 24,45,892 comes from the three stronger states of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura. The remaining states’ membership increased from 12,23,007 to 17,04,034. The membership increase in weaker states is 4,81,027 which works out to a 39% increase in these states compared to the last conference.
AIKC & CKC
- During the last four years AIKC met four times and the CKC seven times.
- In reacting to issues and maintaining regular contacts with state centres, there has been some improvement.
- Bulletin is brought out regularly and general response is good.
- But much more is to be done. At least one more cadre at the centre is necessary to further increase the contacts with the states, and to help movements by directly participating in planning and implementation of different activities.
- There is some improvement in collective functioning of the central office bearers and regular meetings. Besides S. Ramachandran Pillai, K. Varadha Rajan and N. K. Shukla, Mehboob Zahedi is also helping the centre in visiting the states.
STATE CENTRES AND STATE COMMITTEES
- Most of the state committees are meeting regularly and attendance of central office bearers in the meetings has also increased.
- But attendance in many state committees, especially in the weaker states, is only around 50%. Except in West Bengal, Kerala, Tripura, Andhra and Tamil Nadu, in all other states the attendance of state committee members in PKC meetings is still a problem. This is reflected in their allotting time for Kisan Sabha work also.
- In addition to West Bengal, Kerala, Tripura, Tamil Nadu and Andhra where there is regular state centre functioning, some attempts in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Orissa were made in this period and there is some improvement in these states
It is good that some of the states have taken up the issue of cadre training seriously. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have conducted state level camps during this period. In Andhra and Tamil Nadu, district level or zonal level camps were also conducted. In most of these state camps, central office bearers also took part.
UNIT & MANDAL LEVEL CONFERENCES
Though detailed report is not available about the implementation of this important decision, it can be said that in the weaker states, annual conferences have started taking place in around 30% of units and mandals where we are having membership. Serious discussion on this, and on ways to improve the functioning of lower units, is an important task before us in this Conference.
The review of our activities and the organizational position of the Kisan Sabha reveals the following shortcomings and weaknesses.
PEASANT UNITY CENTRED ON AGRICULTURAL LABOURERS AND POOR PEASANTS
The peasant unity that we are building has to be centered on poor peasants. There is weakness in giving adequate importance to this aspect in many states. When we take up the issue of subsidies to electricity charges, water charges and waiver of loans and interest, in some places, we do riot make any demarcation from the demands of the richer sections in the name of “all-in peasant unity“. The ideological influence of the richer sections can be seen in the slogans such as free electricity and free water for all, waiver of all loans etc.
Some comrades tend to forget the fact that our concept of peasant unity has two important aspects. One aspect is, it is centered on agricultural labourers and poor peasants and tries to rally middle and rich peasants. The second aspect is, it aims to isolate landlords and their allies from the peasantry.
It is only the broadest possible unity built among the peasantry based on agricultural workers and poor peasants, that can utilize the intensification of the contradiction between imperialism and the entire peasantry on the one hand and between the rural poor and landlords on the other.
AGITATIONS AND STRUGGLES ON LOCAL ISSUES
There is weakness in taking up local issues and rallying the peasantry in most of the weaker states. Issues such as a small embankment, a drainage scheme, a small irrigation problem, a connecting road in a village, a school, eviction from land or homestead, cooperatives, panchayats, getting relief from government schemes and even family feuds etc can be considered as local issues. If we take up such issues with greater strength and consistency than is being done at present, there are possibilities of making gains. The gains we achieve by taking up such local issues will give confidence even to the backward sections among the people and will help in rallying them to our organization, which in turn will help to change the correlation of forces in our favour.
RAISING POLITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS
It cannot be said that sufficient attention has been given in many places to raise the level of political consciousness of the people who are rallied in agitations and struggles. In some places, there is no attempt to organize those who are rallied in agitations and struggles. In some places, due to lack of contact, the people who have rallied in militant struggles have subsequently gone away from us. The weakness in linking partial demands with the basic demands, agitation with propaganda, the immediate with the ultimate objective, has to be overcome to prevent reverses.
CONCRETIZATION OF DEMANDS AND METHOD OF WORK
The Kisan Sabha has identified all the main issues and demands at the All-India level. It is the responsibility of the state units to decide on the concrete issues to be taken up in each state. The Centre should help them in this matter. Due to unevenness in growth, unevenness in the level of consciousness also, the experience of the stronger states can be a rich lesson for the weaker states. But the methods or tactics adopted by the stronger states cannot be mechanically copied. During the last four years certain serious attempts have been made to concretize demands and tactics in weaker states.
These attempts have to be carried forward. There are weaknesses in evolving appropriate tactics commensurate with the situation in the state. This has to be reviewed in the states and appropriate slogans and tactics should be evolved. The All India Centre should give more time and attention to such matters.
- There is some improvement in the functioning of the All India Centre and some state centres. Comrades from the All India Centre are visiting states and trying to help them. But there are shortcomings in direct participation in agitations and struggles in states, helping movements and making appropriate intervention in matters connected with agriculture and the peasantry
- There have been attempts in strengthening the state centres. In addition to West Bengal, Kerala, Tripura, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, there has been some progress in strengthening the state centres in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Orissa. This has been reflected in the gradual expansion of the movement in these states. But there is a dearth of cadre exclusively working for Kisan Sabha even at the state level in many states.
- The decision to allot at least two to three cadres at state centres for the organization is yet to be fulfilled in some states. Sufficient number of cadre is not available at the state centres of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana and Assam etc. There is shortage of cadres at the district levels also.
- Enrolment of membership is done as a campaign and movement only in stronger states. Issuing of leaflets, posters, holding meetings, padayatras etc are organized in West Bengal, Kerala, Tripura and in the stronger areas in certain other states. But in most of the weaker states and areas, members are enrolled in a routine manner. In some places, the period of enrolment is extended for months together.
- In order to activise the lower committees and members, it was decided to organize conferences up to block or tehsil levels immediately after the membership enrolment every year. This practice exists in certain states. Some states have not made any attempt in this direction at all. There is no proper organizational work and democratic functioning at the lower levels in many weaker states.
- Fund collection is very essential for strengthening the organization. The practice of collecting fund at the time of the harvesting season or other occasions is in existence in all the stronger states and in some stronger districts in weaker states. Fund collection has to be undertaken as a political and organisational task. After every struggle, peasants and agricultural workers should be approached for fund. Fund collection strengthens the bonds between the organization and the masses.
IMMEDIATE FUTURE TASKS
The review of our activities and of our organisational position draws our attention to the following immediate tasks:
- The major issues for struggle have already been identified. All-India agitations and struggles should be periodically organized independently and also jointly with other peasant and agricultural workers organizations. This is needed for projecting our identity at the All-India level and also for expansion. Of the various issues identified already, specific issues should be selected either on the basis of a state, or a region within a state, for launching agitations and struggles. Tactics should be evolved commensurate with the situation and the consciousness of the masses. Efforts should be made for building state level united actions with other peasant and agricultural workers organizations. Special efforts should be made for taking up local issues. Panchayats, cooperatives, self help groups and all other such forums should be fully utilized to give relief to the peasantry to the extent possible and expose their character wherever they are utilized for anti-people purposes.
- Proper importance should be given to the struggles against eviction from forest lands in the coming period.
- At least three cadres should be identified in all state centres exclusively for Kisan Sabha work. In the districts, one or two cadres should be identified for exclusively working in the Kisan Sabha, taking into consideration the relative strength of the organization.
- After every membership campaign, conferences up to block or taluk level should be held. Lower level committees should be encouraged to take up local issues. Democratic functioning of the organization at different levels should be reviewed and shortcomings and, weaknesses should be rectified.
- State committees should prepare a one-year plan for work. Periodic review of the implementation of the plan should be organized.
- Crop-wise and section-wise concentration should be widened and consolidated.
- Issues of social atrocities on dalits, Adivasis, minorities and women should be given priority and direct intervention and struggles should be organized.
- Yearly state-level and district-level training camps for cadres should be conducted.
- Bulletin in local languages should be brought out.
We have in this report tried to explain the main features of the present situation and to pinpoint the important immediate tasks. We urge you to examine them with all seriousness on the basis of your rich experience and contribute to a meaningful discussion so as to enable us to arrive at correct conclusions.
We also call upon the entire AIKS organisation at all levels to seriously implement the above tasks with determination so that our movement and organisation can forge ahead in the years to come.
With revolutionary greetings.
K. Varadha Rajan
Discussion On General Secretary’s Report
1. Com.Tarun Roy- West Bengal
We have lost 400 cadres within five years, in the struggle to defend our gains from class enemies. The Kisan movement played the most vital role in the parliamentary elections of 1999 and the assembly elections of 2001. 72% of the agricultural lands belong to small and marginal farmers in West Bengal due to the land reforms movement, while this figure is only 29% throughout the country. We were able to increase the production of paddy, vegetables and other items also. The average yearly increase in production of vegetables is 13.20% and food grains is 5%. But we being a part of the country cannot keep ourselves aloof and so the policies of the central govt, are affecting the West Bengal peasantry also. The production cost is increasing day by day, but the prices of crops are falling down. Our movement is putting stress on making our farmers conscious about the struggle against the policies of central govt. We are also building a movement for agricultural development throughout the state.
The peasantry, without the co-operation of agricultural labour, cannot advance. We are now concentrating on wage increase of agricultural labourers. We are organizing cultural movement, literacy campaign, sports competitions etc. to raise the consciousness of agricultural workers and poor peasants. “Health and primary education for all” is our slogan and now we are concentrating on these movements. We are trying to develop cadres among the tribals and agricultural workers.
Participation of the poor people in the rural areas in planning and implementing the development works was due to our success of the Panchayati Raj System in West Bengal. We are working out new plans to improve this participation. Our Kisan Sabha workers are organizing ’Gram Sansad Sabha’ twice a year, where the villagers discuss rural planning and development.
2. Com. Prakashan- Kerala
General agreement with the report; At the same time the report should include more details about the impact of LPG. Though there is progress in functioning of the AIKS centre, much more is to be done to deal with the vast necessities of the day. Statewide actions and weaknesses should have been included in the report. In the ideological sphere, we have to conduct an All India Training Camp. Other educational methods like bringing pamphlets on issues etc. should be taken up seriously. The Bulletin is to be further developed in standard and the circulation should be increased. CKC should meet in various states. More All India calls should be given for struggles. We should plan united struggles of all Kisan organizations. Leaders should also personally take part in these struggles.
3. Com. K. Mohammad Ali- Tamil Nadu
The problem of irrigation is one of the main problems faced by the peasantry in Tamil Nadu. On the Kaveri issue we appreciate the stand taken by the Karnataka Kisan Sabha and the All India Kisan Sabha at the right time. Other issues with adjacent States like Kerala are there. We would like the AIKS centre to intervene and work out common stand by our State Kisan Sabhas on these issues. Due to LPG policies peasants are adversely affected on all fronts – crashing price for crops, steep increase in input costs, loans etc. The drought has also affected the country seriously this year. In this situation the Tamil Nadu Govt, has come out with the proposal to do away with the free electricity for Tamil Nadu agriculture, a facility that existed there for more than thirteen years. We have 32 districts in Tamil Nadu and in all the districts the Kisan Sabha has functioning district committees. Section-wise concentration like milk producers etc. has given good results in the state. For such sections, having All India co-ordination committees may be more useful.
4. Com. Narayan Deb- Tripura
We thank the delegates for the warm congratulations expressed on our victory in the just held assembly elections. We have lost a large number of comrades in the fight against the goondaism of the Congress and NLFT coalition. A number of local Kisan and tribal leaders were also wounded by these people. Tire attempt is to frighten people so that they will not participate in the democratic process. All these attempts failed. Our work in Panchayats to uplift the conditions of poor people and consistent work to maintain unity between the Adivasis and Bengalis formed the basis for the victory. Panchayats where the administration was in the hands of the poor, have made better performance to uplift the rural people, especially the SC & ST sections and minorities. The Left Front state govt, has taken several measures for the uplift of the poor, in spite of severe restrictions due to LPG policies followed by the central government. Because of this we are able to march forward in spite of all the difficulties and obstacles created by our enemies.
5. Com. Abhiram Behra- Orissa
In our state ST population is 24% and SC population is 16%. Irrigation facilities are very weak. Cyclone and drought has affected the people severely in this period. We have conducted agitations for relief. We also participated in some direct relief operations along with other mass organizations. Our membership has increased from 32,000 to 46,000. We try to organize other Adivasi and peasant organizations for united struggle. We have conducted fishermens’ All India convention and also state level conventions. We will improve our work at various levels and will reach the target of 1 lakh membership this year.
6. Com. Rajendra Singh Munda- Jharkhand
The Jharkhand Govt. is implementing LPG policies vigorously. Multinational companies are getting large stretches of land. Considerable part of the state is under Naxalite control. Forests are given for contracts and the tribals are evicted in many places. Atrocities on tribal women are increasing. Communalism and regionalism are increasing. We are conducting struggles in these difficult conditions.
We are able to improve our membership from 9,000 to 35,000. Still our organisational base is very small and we are trying to widen it.
7. Com. Phulsingh Sheokand- Haryana
The crash in prices of crops is the main issue before the Haryana peasantry. Electricity is another important issue on which struggles took place. Five peasants died in these struggles. Rate of interest for agricultural loans are increasing whereas for housing and other loans rate of interest is decreasing. One third of the area of the state is affected by drought and we conducted continuous struggles at various levels for last six months. Due to the cow protection issue raised by the communalists, hundreds of abandoned cows are destroying the crops and it has become a big issue in some areas. Regular state committee and district committee meetings were conducted in Haryana. But the attendance needs improvement. Strong states should help the neighboring states.
8. Com. Duli Chand- Rajasthan
In Rajasthan 8% landlords own more than 50% of the land while 50% poor peasants own only 10% of the land. Farmers are getting electricity only for 6 hours, and that too with increased tariffs. The effects of LPG policies are very severe. Peasant indebtedness is growing. Besides this, the drought situation is extremely serious. We have taken up local issues and organized many struggles. Out of 40,000 tribals only 247 tribals have been given forest lands. Agricultural workers are getting only Rs 20 to 30 a day as wage and the number of working days is getting reduced. The Rajasthan Kisan Sabha will improve its struggles in the coming years. Caste and communal elements are dividing the people, especially as preparation for the assembly elections that are due later this year, and we are fighting against this menace also.
9. Com. Puma Boro- Assam
Against eviction of peasants from forest lands, the Assam State Kisan Sabha conducted several demonstrations and thousands of peasants participated in these struggles. The state govt. is planning to give 80,000 acres of land to big companies. We are conducting agitations against this. In Assam, the peasants are not given ’Pattas’, and the worst affected are the minorities. Our Kisan Sabha has taken up the issue of ’Pattas’ to these people. Irrigation facilities are very poor in Assam. We are fighting on this issue also.
10. Com. N. K. Kashyap- Chattisgarh
LPG policies have affected the state very badly. Though we are taking up issues and are fighting, our organisational structure is very weak. Stronger states can help in building the movement in the border areas. Bulletin should also be published in Hindi. Concentration by the AIKS Centre in the Hindi areas is to be improved a lot. Chattisgarh has started privatisation of water first and it is now spreading to other states. Interlinking of rivers issue is to be discussed in detail and our stand worked out.
11. Com. Kuberbhai Bhambhi- Gujarat
Gujarat is one of the worst-affected states due to drought. There is acute shortage of drinking water. Failure of monsoon for several years, severe earthquake etc. has affected the life of the peasantry very much. The communal danger in Gujarat is also extremely serious, as seen in the state-sponsored communal carnage and the assembly election results. Though weak, we tried our best to organize the peasantry and conducted some struggles. This year our membership is 12,000. On the issue of Narmada project we organized a dharna, wherein thousands of peasants participated.
12. Com. L. Kunjo- Manipur
Manipur being a border state, its problems are more serious. Govt, there misuses funds allotted by the central govt. and relief provided to people is very little. Lack of irrigation and crash in prices is the problem faced by the peasantry. Failure of PDS system affects the poor very much. A new state committee is formed. We will now try to activise the Kisan Sabha.
13. Com. Arjun Adey- Maharashtra
In Maharashtra two of the several important issues that we have taken up are electricity and sugarcane. After the successful mass struggle against Enron, movements against the proposed privatisation of the Electricity Board and against the hike in power tariff attracted thousands of peasants. A Left-led Kisan rally on December 12, 2002 on the Nagpur state assembly was successful, with 25,000 participation. The privatisation of power had to be postponed by the state government. Our movement on sugarcane prices has also got good response in some districts, but we are still weak in the traditional sugar belt of the state.
14. Com. Bayya Reddy- Karnataka
We warmly congratulate the Punjab Kisan Sabha for successfully conducting this conference. The PDS has collapsed in Karnataka also. The number of cardholders is reduced to 25 lakhs from 65 lakhs. Three farmers committed suicide recently. Attempts to privatize the power sector are taking place. A front was formed with our initiative and struggles conducted. On March 3, 10,000 peasants were mobilized for the demonstration. Local level demonstrations are also going on. On the issue of milk also we are concentrating and have organized a convention in Bangalore. The response was good. AIKS centre should help the states in organizing milk producers. On the issue of price of silk also we have conducted many struggles and state level actions. Protest rally was held in Bangalore where Andhra and Tamilnadu peasants also participated. We have crossed 1 lakh membership for the first time and we will improve in future.
15. COM. Mukut Singh- Uttar Pradesh
In U.P. we have tried our best to implement the Kozhikode conference decisions. Crash in prices and drought relief are the two main issues we have taken up in this period. Due to crash in sugarcane prices, peasants have burned sugarcane in some areas. BJP- BSP alliance state govt, is not taking any interest in helping the peasants. They are diverting the issues on communal and casteist lines. We are trying to concentrate on local issues. We are trying for better functioning of the state centre. We want more help from the All India Centre.
16. Com. Ashok Tewari- Madhya Pradesh
In M.P. 75% of the labour force is engaged in agriculture. SC/ ST population in M.P is 35.5%. We try to concentrate on this section. Adivasi Mahasabha has been formed and has conducted some struggles. RSS is trying to communalize the tribals. Some NGOs are also active among tribals. State Govt. declared that lands would be allotted for Adivasis and Dalits. But that is not implemented. We took up the issue and conducted many local actions for land. MP govt. has relaxed the land reforms laws to allot land to MNCs. Drought has affected MP seriously. Of the 840 crores relief demanded by the state govt. only 96 crores was given. Even this was not spent by the state govt. properly.
17. Com. Visweswar Reddy- Andhra Pradesh
The state govt. in AP is implementing LPG policies more vigorously and the privatisation of the agricultural sector is going on speedily. Charges of water, electricity are raised. We conducted many struggles and thousands of people participated. We took the issue of irrigation projects in 3 districts and conducted sustained campaigns and struggles, which were a great success. The govt. is trying to privatize the Godavari river. We have decided to take up the issue and conduct struggles in the near future. Strengthening the organisation at various levels and widening the movement are planned by the State Kisan Sabha and we will implement it.
18. Com. Vijay KantThakur- Bihar
Landlordism dominates in Bihar. The villages are under control of landlords. Land struggles were organized by the Kisan Sabha. 40,000 comrades were arrested and more than a dozen died in these land struggles. ’Ranveer Sena’ of the landlords is attacking the poor people in many parts of the state. Lakhs of homeless people are there in the villages. South Bihar is facing drought and the govt. is extending no help to the affected. We organized struggles against the price crash of sugar cane and other crops and for drought and flood relief. Our organisation is improving. Four comrades art working from the state centre and more help is needed from the AIKS Centre.
19. Com. Lahamber Singh Taggar- Punjab
We thank the AIKS for giving us this opportunity of hosting the 30th All India Conference at Punjab. The peasantry of Punjab is suffering from a number of problems. The major issues are indebtedness of the peasantry, procurement of wheat and rise in electricity charges. We launched struggles demanding relief. From January 28 to March 1,2001 statewide Kisan march was conducted. In September 2001 rasta roko and rail roko were conducted. Govt. was compelled to announce Rs 300 crore increase in price of wheat and paddy.
20,000 peasants participated in the struggle. Dharna for reducing electricity charges and demonstrations against the hike in prices of petroleum products were also conducted. State convention of sugarcane growers was organized successfully. In the Delhi rally a large number of peasants from Punjab participated. Kisan Sabha units and activists all over Punjab took enthusiastic part in the preparations for this conference.
20. Com. Gangadhar Nautiyal- Uttaranchal
We are trying our best to streamline the organisation. We have conducted dharnas and rallies at the call of the CKC. We have planned to take up the issues of silk and sugarcane in the coming period. Our experience is that when we took up local issues at the right time the response is good. We will complete our membership quota of 36,000 this year.
21. Com. Amarsingh Raghwa- Himachal Pradesh
The BJP Govt. in Himachal was implementing LPG policies vigorously and we organized several struggles against this. The BJP Govt. gave 20,000 acres of land to multinational companies at throwaway rates. Horticulture and animal husbandry are the two main sources of livelihood in many areas of Himachal Pradesh. We are trying to take specific issues of the peasants connected with horticulture and animal husbandry. AIKS bulletin should be brought out in Hindi also.
22. Com. Nripen Choudhary- West Bengal
Our warm greetings to the Punjab Kisan Sabha committee. In West Bengal, we tried to strengthen the organisation at various levels. In the recent state conference we have examined the weaknesses in the organisation and decided on the remedies also. During the last four years our membership has increased by 8 lakhs, but still only 35% of the rural population is covered. Our aim is to enroll 60% of the rural population in the AIKS. It is towards this goal that we are marching. We give special concentration to enroll SC/ST sections in our organisation. “Krishak Sanghatan”, the organ of the State Kisan Sabha, is published regularly. Communal forces and extremist organizations are physically attacking our cadres in many places. Hundreds of comrades have lost their lives in this battle, and our struggle will go on until they are defeated. But it is a difficult task to maintain the strength in our bases without a powerful All India movement. The reasons for the existence of weaknesses in the states should be critically examined and serious efforts must be made to remove them.
23. Com. E. K. Narayanan- Kerala
We welcome the report. It would have been useful if the report specifically analyzed the organisational strength and weakness of each state. A large number of struggles were conducted in Kerala in this period, against the massive crash in prices of all crops, which has affected the peasantry very seriously, and on other local issues as well. Two Kisan marches covering the entire state culminated at Thrissur. They were very successful and several thousand peasants participated. Picketing collectorates and the state secretariat, rail roko and a continuous strike for five days in all taluk and district centres were some of the actions conducted in this period. At the call of our recent state conference, 101 hour satyagraha was conducted before all the collectorates and the state secretariat from Feb 24 to 28, 2003, and thousands of peasants participated in this. The State Committee has constructed a new office. Subcommittees for various crops were formed and are functioning. The Central leadership is helping our committee.
24. Com. G. Mani- Tamil Nadu
In Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK govt. is implementing LPG policies vigorously. We are concentrating on crop-wise issues. A sugarcane growers organisation affiliated to AIKS is functioning. We conducted a conference of south zone sugarcane growers at Villiipuram in Tamilnadu. Separate conventions on various crops were also conducted in this period. We have conducted struggles for procurement of paddy and for proper maintainence of the PDS system. Against the atrocities on dalits we have conducted a state level Jatha and a conference at Pudukottai to abolish two-glass system in teashops etc. We have conducted struggles for entry of dalits to temples in some places. We have decided to concentrate on cultural activities also in the coming period. We should support the plan of linking of rivers to solve the chronic problem of water shortage.
25. Com. Natesh Jamatia- Tripura
Through Gana Mukti Parishad, our tribal organisation, we have conducted many campaigns and struggles. Our movement has helped social and cultural growth of the state. The autonomous council for tribal areas, accepting the language “Kokboro” as the official language etc. has created a good impact among the tribals. We have fought successfully against the Congress-extremist alliance with the peoples’ support. The Left Front govt. actions to protect the interest of the tribals and the poor have defeated the separatist moves to divide the people. The membership campaign is going on and we are confident that we will complete our target.
26. Com. Nizamuddin Khan- Assam
As a result of the indiscriminate import of agricultural products, crash in prices of crops is very serious in Assam. 40 govt. agricultural farms are to be privatized. The Assam Govt. is working in favour of the landlords who were demanding privatisation of these farms for a long time. The PDS system has collapsed. We have organized several struggles throughout the state. The state centre is working with two whole timers. A state level cadre training camp is planned.
27. Com. Sisir Hui- Orissa
Food scarcity in Orissa is increasing day by day. There is no effective public distribution system in existence. This has led to starvation deaths in some areas. Contract farming system by the multinational companies, with the help of the state govt., is being implemented. 50 to 60% of the farmers are tenants, but without any registration or legal records. We have decided to take up their issue in the coming days. We have formed a separate organisation for tribals affiliated to the AIKS and the membership of this tribal organisation is 5,000. But the majority of tribals are outside our organisation: We have planned to concentrate on this section. Sharecropping is done for 60% of the holdings.
28. Com. Shankar Danav- Maharashtra
Cotton growers of Maharashtra are facing a crisis situation. Crash in prices and procurement are the main issues. The state govt., under pressure from the centre, has been trying to dismantle the Monopoly cotton Procurement Scheme in the state. We have conducted many struggles and were able to compel the govt. to announce the continuation of the above scheme and maintain the cotton prices. These struggles included jathas, rasta roko actions and a massive peasant rally before the state assembly in which 25,000 participated. Against the policies of the Central govt. as regards cotton, we conducted an independent demonstration wherein peasants participated in large numbers. With our Kisan Sabha initiative, a joint committee of Left-led Kisan and agricultural workers organizations was formed, and its first action on October 2, 2001, Gandhi Jayanti Day, was a statewide bonfire of imported agricultural products, in which over 50,000 participated. Our Kisan Sabha is spread over 27 districts and we are working out plans to rectify the weaknesses in organisation at various levels. An All India action on the cotton growers issue will help the countrywide struggle.
29. Com. Tulsidas- Andhra Pradesh
In our recent state conference we self-critically analyzed our weaknesses as mentioned in the G.S report. We accept the criticism and we assure that we will rectify the weaknesses in future. Out of 22 districts where we are having an organisation, only ten districts have considerable membership. The main problem is that Kisan Sabha cadres are not spending their major time for Kisan Sabha work. Tenancy issue and local issues have not been given proper attention in many states. Concentrating on the poorer sections of the peasantry is the correct approach and we try to do our best in this regard. Cadres from the poorer sections of the peasantry should be developed. AIKS centre should be further strengthened and coordinating Parliamentary activities with the peasant movement effectively is necessary. Assessment about the position of the organisation in different states should have been incorporated in the report. A small richer section is still in favour of LPG policies and tries to utilize the benefits in their favour. This should also be incorporated in the report with details.
30. Com. Taru Bala Biswas- West Bengal
The deep crisis in agriculture referred to by many other comrades is being witnessed in Bengal also. Import export policies of the central govt. are adversely affecting the Bengal peasantry. The Left Front govt. there is taking remedial measures and trying to see that the difficulties of the peasantry are reduced as much as possible. The interest rates for agriculture by central banks are increasing, whereas the interest rates for other sectors are reducing. Women are the worst sufferers of these policies. Drinking water, wage and other social problems are affecting women. The Left Front govt. has taken up these special issues of women and has taken measures to solve some of these. Women have a good representation in the panchayat administration of West Bengal and this helps in good functioning of the panchayats. Women are participating in co-operative forest management and in other governmental organizations in West Bengal. We have to face the panchayat elections soon and we are sure that we will come out successfully.
31. Com. O. Sankaran- Kerala
Alternative agricultural policies to the central govt. policies are to be worked out by the AIKS. This should be given more importance in our campaign. Our struggles outside should be properly reflected in Parliament and the AIKS centre should take special interest in it. Land movement is to be taken up seriously in the weaker states to widen the organisation. Social atrocities and such other problems should be taken for action. Mere campaigning will not do. We have to go in for All India independent and joint actions on most of the issues affecting the peasantry.
32. Com. Lagumaiyah- Tamilnadu
The AIADMK govt. in Tamil Nadu is allotting massive amount of govt. lands to multinationals and Indian big business companies. There is a plan to allot more than 5 lakh acres of govt. land to these companies and more than 1 lakh acres of land has been already allotted. We have organized several agitations against this. We are conducting struggles against eviction of tribals from forest lands also. A state level picketing was conducted against the LPG policies, wherein 40,000 of our comrades were arrested and 2,000 were sent to jail. In Chennai our comrades faced lathi charge and thirty comrades were seriously injured. We have taken up irrigation issues and conducted struggles. We will complete our target of 6 lakhs membership this year.
33. Com. Ratan Budhar- Maharashtra
The Congress-NCP Govt. in Maharashtra is implementing LPG policies vehemently. Only 15% of the land in the state is irrigated, inspite of Rs. 35,000 crores having been spent on irrigation by successive state governments in the last 40 years. The question of irrigation and drought in Maharashtra is therefore very serious. One of the main issues we have taken up this period is Adivasi eviction issue and the issue of land. In October 2002, the AIKS and the AIAWU conducted a statewide land satyagraha throughout Maharashtra, in which over 1,30,000 participated and out of them, over 1,00,000 courted arrest in 20 districts. Forest land was the main issue, although the question of grazing lands, etc. were also taken up in this struggle. As a result of this, the state government had to order a stay on the eviction campaign and had to bring out a government resolution laying down the procedure for vesting land in the name of the Adivasi tillers. Now we are fighting for its implementation.
34. Com. George Mathew- Kerala
We congratulate the Punjab Kisan Sabha for this successful conference. We should work out a water management policy. On the issue of Cauvery and other such issues, the AIKS should come out with its stand consulting the concerned states. We have to study the issue of agriculture-based small industries and take up the issue in future. Several crop wise conventions held in Kerala were very useful. On the question of natural calamities we should demand that the central govt. formulate a new policy and we should intervene in the issues at the appropriate time.
35. Com. O. N.Trisal- J & K
We are conducting struggles in the adverse conditions obtaining in Jammu and Kashmir. We have successfully faced the J & K elections and our Kisan Sabha membership has increased due to continuous activities. Apple growers of the state are badly affected due to the import of apples from various countries. Basmati rice is another important product in the state. This section is also affected due to crash in prices. We want the All India Kisan Sabha Centre to help us and guide us more.
36. Com. Kisan Gujar- Maharashtra
The Kisan Sabha State centre was strengthened recently with three whole timers working. The functioning of the organisation at the state and district levels was also streamlined and improved. Many of the state office-bearers visit and help the districts under their charge, but this has to be further improved. Along with the increase in movements and struggles on several issues, state-level political study-camps have been successfully organized for Kisan Sabha cadres every year. As a result of all this, the organisation spread from 10 districts to 27 districts in the last five years. Membership has increased from 90,000 to 1,40,000. We have tried to spread out to districts that are beyond our traditional Adivasi base areas. But we should develop women activists at the state and district levels, since that is one of our biggest weaknesses. Sharad Joshi’s organisation is taking pro-imperialist stands and as a result has lost its popularity and clout, in recent years. Many have left his organisation on this issue. We are cooperating with this section opposing globalisation and are conducting joint struggles. This year, we will complete our membership quota of 1,50,000. The AIKS Centre has always helped us in this period by regularly attending our study-camps, meetings and conferences.
Reply of the General Secretary
More than nine hours discussion in which 36 comrades participated was very useful and rich in content. The experience of various states was highlighted in the discussion and the important struggles mentioned will be incorporated in the final report. Almost all the comrades who spoke here expressed their concern for the growth of the movement. As Comrade Surjeet has pointed out in his inaugural speech, this is the right time to widen and intensify our actions and mobilize the peasantry countrywide.
Several suggestions were given in the discussion to improve the general functioning of the movement and the organisation. The new AIKC and CKC will seriously consider those suggestions and work out a suitable plan. The two main contradictions we are facing in rural India are getting aggravated due to the LPG policies followed by the BJP-led central government and by various state governments.
The contradiction between imperialism and the peasantry including the richer sections is coming to the fore, and there were many struggles connected with this in the last four years. Our experience in various states showed that we were able to win over a section of the middle peasantry also in the struggles against the price crash, import-export policy, intervention of MNCs in input production etc. This should be further developed and independent and joint actions should be widened and deepened.
At the same time, the other basic contradiction between the rural rich and the rural poor should be taken up. Struggles regarding this should be further strengthened in various states. The discussion shows our weakness in this area, and this is to be rectified in future. Basing ourselves on the poorer sections of the peasantry and agricultural workers and widening our base among the other sections should be our basic approach, and this alone will give scope for developing a strong Kisan movement all over the country. The conditions and situation vary from state to state and this basic policy is to be applied to the conditions of the particular state and area after deep study. Comrades expressed general agreement with this basic approach, and this shows the unanimity of approach in the organisation about the future direction of the movement.
Some comrades have suggested that more frequent All India campaigns, independent and joint, are required. We appreciate the suggestion and will try to implement it in future. At the same time, the practical difficulties should also be understood by our comrades. With more than 85% of our membership in only two states and only 17 lakhs membership in all other states, it becomes very difficult to implement All India calls successfully. After assessing the impact of All India joint actions with Left-led Kisan and agricultural workers organizations, the CKC had come to an understanding that joint actions at the state level should be given more importance due to the variation in strength and also the wide differences in the situation in various states, along with All India actions. The report and discussion shows that this approach is correct, since we were able to conduct several massive joint actions even in weaker states. Other states should take this as an example and go in for joint struggles at the local level, besides the general All India campaigns.
One comrade from Kerala suggested that we should work out an alternative agricultural policy. But such an alternative policy was worked out in 1993 itself by the AIKS and AIAWU jointly. The basic assessment of that document titled “alternative policy statement” still holds good. The question is not of working out an alternative policy but of linking the local struggles with our alternative policy and educating the farmers. This policy should be printed in local languages and widely distributed.
As regards the Bulletin, comrades suggested that it should be printed in large numbers and in many languages. The Bulletin should not be treated as magazine. It is brought out mainly to educate our cadres on the latest developments in the agrarian field. By translating it in local languages and using the materials in the state magazines, we should try to educate our cadres and the masses of the peasantry. Besides the central Bulletin, Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Andhra are bringing out their own journals. For the other states, small pamphlets in local languages produced with the material in the bulletin will be useful. But the bulletin can and should be brought out in Hindi also in future.
Interlinking of rivers is one of main issues that are being discussed all over the country today. Some of the comrades have raised the issue here. Meeting the water needs of the states is extremely important. But at the same time the huge amount involved in the scheme, different views of different states about the project, the question of how to solve the disputes when they arise between states etc. are to be seriously considered. A detailed examination of all these aspects is necessary. So the All India Kisan Sabha demands that an expert committee go into all aspects of the scheme before finalizing it.
Some comrades suggested that the All India Kisan Sabha should come out with a clear stand on the river disputes between states. In the Cauvery dispute, the AIKS, in consultation with the state committees concerned, has come out with a statement. In the other water disputes between states we should react carefully, taking into consideration the need and situation in the states concerned, without in any way surrendering to the forces that are making use of these issues to rouse chauvinism.
The participation of women in our various committees and taking up special issues concerning women is very weak in general. This has been pointed out in many reports earlier as well as in this report. In the recent conferences there were attempts to include women in committees in some states. But we still have to go a long way in this regard.
Regarding the suggestion of separate All India coordinating committees for each crop, we feel that it is not possible and useful at this juncture. We have already tried some zonal level actions for particular crops. This will continue.
So far as the functioning of the All India centre is concerned, though comrades appreciated the improvement in functioning, they also pointed out that much more should be done to meet the needs of the movement. This is correct and the CKC will take up this issue seriously and work out plans to strengthen the activities of the centre.
There were some other suggestions like All India seminars in particular subjects, new building for the All India Kisan Sabha, increased number of meetings of CKC and AIKC etc. All these suggestions will be considered seriously by the new CKC and AIKC.
The immediate task of the Kisan Sabha after this conference will be to launch a big campaign all over India on the burning issues of the peasantry and lead a massive peasant upsurge to coincide with the All India working class strike on May 21. This is necessary to defeat the imperialist-dictated economic, industrial and agrarian policies of the BJP-led central government, which are attacking all sections of the working people.
Another important task will be to complete this year’s membership quota before April 30. The West Bengal committee, the vanguard of our Kisan Sabha, has already completed 1 crore 22 lakh membership for this year. The other states should also fulfill their membership targets.
Once again we congratulate all our comrades for enriching our understanding of the situation with their experience. Let us all concentrate on developing the Kisan movement wider and deeper throughout the country in the years ahead.
Concluding Speech by S. Ramachandran Pillai, President
30th conference has successfully carried out all tasks. During the last four days, plenary session extended to 20 hours. The discussions in the commissions took about nine hours. Altogether the Conference took 29 hours to transact all business in the agenda.
General Secretary’s Report was unanimously adopted. Other than condolence resolutions, the Conference adopted nine resolutions. The Conference adopted four amendments to the Constitution. Accounts for the last four years have been passed. The Conference elected a 135-member AIKC and a 52-member CKC. All decisions have been taken unanimously. Six foreign delegates attended the Conference. Two kisan organisations and five mass organisations greeted the Conference.
30th Conference will be considered as a turning point in the history of the All India Kisan Sabha. This was made possible by the contributions made by the delegates in the form of suggestions, criticisms and observations based on their rich and mature experiences in building the kisan movement.
Punjab peasantry generously contributed for the success of the Conference. Their relations who are living in United Kingdom and Canada also worked for the success of the Conference. We cannot forget the contributions made by Com. Harkishan Singh Surjeet. He extensively toured Punjab and worked for the success of the Conference.
Four important tasks emerged out of the Conference. The Conference noted the big unrest among the peasantry. This is reflected in spontaneous and organised struggles taking place in different parts of the country. It is our important task to channelise these different streams of peasant protest into mighty struggles. The impact of the disastrous policies are reflected in local and partial issues. If we take up these issues and consistently organise struggles, we can make some achievements. These achievements will bring confidence in the minds of the peasants and that will help us in building and expanding the movement. As Com. Surjeet said, the Iron is hot. We should strike now. We should give more emphasis in launching campaigns and struggles.
The other important task is that we should continuously work for raising the consciousness of the peasantry. The caste and communal forces are active in dividing the peasantry. They are trying to make use of the backwardness. We should continuously work for raising the consciousness. Without raising the consciousness, it is not possible to sustain and expand the movement. More classes have to be organised.
The other important task is to strengthen the organisation at all levels, particularly at local, state and all India level. All organisational weaknesses noted in the General Secretary’s Report should be remedied as quickly as possible. This is necessary to sustain and expand the movement.
The fourth important task is to select certain priority states and try to pool our resources. We should try to strengthen and expand the movement in the Hindi heartland. We should concentrate our efforts in certain states and expand.
The working class has taken a decision to, organise a countrywide strike on May 21st against the wrong policies of the government. We also should organise the peasantry on the basis of our demands and try to organise rasta roko, gherao, picketing etc synchronising with working class action. Let that be a strong all- India qnited action against the wrong policies of the government.
On behalf of the All India Kisan Sabha, I thank the Reception Committee, the Punjab unit of the All India Kisan Sabha, comrades from UK and Canada, Desh Bhagat Trust, volunteers, fraternal delegates and delegates who have worked to make the Conference a big success.
The past experience shows that if we try hard, we can change the situation. We should sincerely try to implement all decisions of the Conference. We— the office bearers, the CKC and the AIKC— will all try to carry out all the decisions. We will sincerely try to avoid any lapses. Let us unitedly work together to mobilise the peasantry against the policies of the government. Let us all try to make All India Kisan Sabha more stronger to take up the issues affecting the peasantry and the country. I, once again, greet you all and thank you all.
Resolution On Iraq
The 30th Conference of All India Kisan Sabha expresses its deep concern at the U. S. Imperialists design to launch another war on Iraq, invade it and occupy the country with its rich oil resources. Besides Economic aggressions through WTO conditionalities, the U. S. A. is now out for spreading its military hegemony all over the world: Iraq was earlier devastated and ruined by U. S. For more than decade economic sanction has been imposed upon it, more than 10 lakh people including 5 lakh children have perished because of want of medicines and other essentials.
Though it has remained under continuous surveillance of United Nations and its major airspace is occupied by U. S. forces and its allies .The USA having the largest stockpiles of nuclear weapon and other weapons of man destruction capable of destroying the world several times is out to invade Iraq on the absurd pretext that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction.
As directed by U. N., the Iraq government has submitted details of its weapon stock and a large contingent of U.N. weapon inspectors conducted search at every corner of Iraq including residence of President Saddam Hussain for two months and reported that no trace of any kind of weapon of mass destruction was evidenced. Iraq also agreed to allow further inspection. But beyond all reason the U. S. A. along with some obedient allies like Britain is planning to attack Iraq.
World oil resources is becoming limited more and more and is likely to be exhausted after 50 years according to informative sources. Iraq has the second largest stock of oil resources. In order to have a monopoly control over the world oil resources, the U. S. wants to setup a government there subservient to the U. S. diktats. That is why the US has proposed Iraq President Saddam must resign and an obedient government be set up there to buy peace. In Palestine, earlier the US had demanded removal of Arafat .The US imperialist has now usurped the right of dictating as to what type of government one country should have. ’War against terrorism’ has also been posed as a pretext for attacking Iraq. Bush has said that terrorists exist in sixty countries and war against terrorism is endless. Iraq has also been blamed as a terrorist state, which is a blatant lie. None of the accused connected with the 11th September raid belongs to Iraq. Fundamentalist forces are known to be abetting terrorist forces but it is known to everybody that Iraq is strictly a secular state.
Since the US has failed to rope in the Security Council in its evil design, it has threatened to ignore the UN itself. Though more and more countries including Germany, France, Russia, China are boldly opposing the aggression against Iraq, the BJP led government at the centre in contrast with our anti-imperialist tradition has been taking a lukewarm attitude and dares not strongly oppose the nefarious U. S. move.
This conference condemns the submissive attitude of the Central Government and urges for taking a firm stand.
U. S. A’s hostility against North Korea is also increasing and it has forced DPRK to withdraw from nuclear Non proliferation treaty. Inspite of the growing confrontation, Bush administration being bogged with Iraq and aware of growing anti-U.S. feeling, is unable to take any military action against DPRK now.
This conference notes with pleasure that more and more people throughout the world, even in U. S. itself are raising their voices against the war. Millions are marching in the streets. The world has never witnessed such massive demonstration against the US war threat earlier. More and more people are realizing that the war upon Iraq will not only ruin Iraq and its people, but will also severely damage the economy of developing countries adding to the miseries of the people world over, danger for escalating the war in other areas, embolden the US imperialists to jeopardize the sovereignty of other countries, enable U. S.A to monopolize world oil resources, boost up the profits of tycoons of US army industry and endanger the class and democratic movements all over the world. Lessons of history have proved beyond doubts that working class peasantry and democratic movement in any country cannot succeed without all out struggle against imperialism.
The 30th conference of All India Kisan Sabha calls upon the peasantry to rise up in alliance with other toiling and democratic peoples against the brutal design of the US imperialism and urges upon all activists of Kisan Sabha to organize and rouse the peasantry against the grave danger that the humanity faces.
Resolution On The Left Front Victory In Tripura
The 30th Conference of the All India Kisan Sabha Congratulates the people of Tripura for having elected the CPI(M) led Left Front to the state assembly with two third majority for the third successive term. It is a fitting reply given in a decisive manner against the antinational INPT-Congress/alliance backed by the NLFT terrorists. More than 35 comrades since the election was declared and over 1500 since 1980 laid down their lives in this heroic battle to defend the tribal, non- tribal unity and national integrity. The secessionist forces spearheaded their attack against the CPI(M) and Ganamukti Parisad their tribal cadres in particular. The BJP led NDA government at the centre followed the suit of its predecessor Congress government in denying adequate measures against cross border terrorism. It goes to the credit of the Left Front Government of Tripura and its heroic people that this onslaught could be defeated by rallying both tribal and non-tribal widest possible resistance in one hand and by pursuing pro-people development policies on the other. Tripura has shown the path that leads towards successful confrontation with the insurgency related problem in the North Eastern states. It is the all out efforts against all odds to develop agriculture, extend irrigation, develop infrastructure like road, railway communication, electrically based on natural gas, protect forest and handicrafts, setup primary school and drinking water sources in every village and above all expanding democracy to the planes, valleys and the hills, the panchayats and the first Autonomous Distinct Council in the country, the special programme for development of tribal including their culture and language and the multitudes of such other programmes that helped alienation of insurgents from the people. The secessionist outfits openly declared that they are for an Independent Tripura and imposed ban on the hoisting of tricolor national flag on Independence day and it is with them that Congress this time like in past allied against the left. It is another irony of history only the might of the red flag could protect the honour of the national flag in Tripura since even, this tricolor flag is not safe in the hands of those who claim to hold it high. The flag is symbolic. In essence it is the Independence and sovereignty of our country, the unity of India and its people, the national integration and democracy, everything most valuable to a patriot that gets endangered in the hands of bourgeois-landlord combine. The verdict of the people of Tripura has once again entrusted the left and democratic forces in the country to discharge the historic task to hold high the banner of democracy.
The 30th conference of AIKS takes note and resolves to take this message to our countrymen.
Resolution Against Eviction of Tribals from Forest Lands
The 30th National Conference of the All India Kisan Sabha strongly denounces the drive of the BJP-led Central Government to evict lakhs of tribals in the country from the forest lands that they have been cultivating for several decades. This draconian order was issued by the government through its circular of May 2002, the implementation of which is still continuing in various states.
Ever since the British colonial government summarily dispossessed the Adivasis from the forest land that they had been cultivating for centuries, while also preserving and protecting the forest wealth of the country, the tribals have always got a raw deal from the central government. The Congress government since independence in this respect faithfully followed the policies of the British regime. The central forest conservation Act of 1980 further sealed the fate of the Adivasis, denying them ownership of forest lands.
The May 2002 circular of the BJP-led central government calling for the eviction of tribals from their land is the most retrograde step aimed at the very livelihood of the Adivasis themselves. It is a part of the LPG policies in agriculture being implemented by the ruling classes over the last one decade, and represents another aspect of the reactionary drive to reverse land reforms.
Haying no other means of livelihood but the small plots of forest land that they cultivate, tribals are in a precarious state. The argument that their eviction is necessary to protect the forests and the environment is totally spurious, since it is well known that the destruction of the country’s forest wealth is the handiwork of the corrupt nexus of ruling class politicians, forest department officials and large forest contractors. Nothing has been done to control the destructive activities of this corrupt nexus.
The alternative path of protection of both tribals and forests has been illustrated by the policies initiated by the Left-led state governments of West Bengal, Tripura and Kerala. It is these policies that must be taken up at the national level.
The 30th National Conference of the All India Kisan Sabha gives a clarion call to Kisan Sabha units and to Adivasis all over the country to launch a massive struggle of resistance to the eviction drive of the central government. It also calls for a nationwide movement for radical amendments to the central forest conservation Act of 1980, so that the burning and chronic issue of vesting forest lands in the name of the tillers can be solved in favour of the Adivasis once and for all. As the first and minimum step in this; the conference demands that the BJP-led central government immediately withdraw its draconian circular of May 2002 that orders eviction of tribals from their lands, or the tribals with the full support of our cadres will be forced to physically resist these evictions.
Resolution on Reversal of Land Reforms
Land reforms is not mere a question of social justice and benefits to the landless poor. Land reform, historically, is a key to speedy industrial development. Capital formation in agriculture and expansion of market for industrial products both become severely restricted if land reform is not effected. In reality, the slogan of abolition of feudalism and land reform was first raised in the history by the bourgeoisie. But the Indian big bourgeoisie, eager to retain its alliance with landlords, were afraid of land reforms and rousing the peasantry for it.
Whatever land reforms legislations were enacted under pressure of peasant and democratic movement was to hoodwink the people. In practice, no land reforms worth its name was implemented anywhere excepting three states of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura where Left parties ruled or are ruling. In this connection it may be noted now even limited land reforms, when implemented with active participation of the peasantry through organised struggle can tremendously influence the economic, social and political scenario. Experience of W. Bengal and other left-led states shows that with land reforms, concentration of land sharply declines, production jumps ahead, economy is strengthened, market for industrial goods expands, poverty, illiteracy and mortality declined, feudal bondage having been removed participating democracy becomes a reality through panchayats, the feudal culture of castism and social discrimination much weakens and co-relation of class forces changes in favour of the poor and exploited people. The congress Party during its long tenure, hardly pressed by the need for increasing agri-production tried to extend capitalist mode of production upon the base of feudal land ownership in agriculture. Production increased but it was associated with severe increase of disparities, landlessness, poverty and unemployment is rural areas.
Now with the dictate of WTO Fund Bank combine and the BJP led government ruling at the centre, a reverse process of land reform has started. With the speedy withdrawal of state from investment in irrigation, credit, fertilizers, research, marketing, and other infrastructure and leaving all these sectors in the hands of big business and MNCs, process has also started to allow the big houses to lease in or outright purchase the land of poor peasants without any limit. Even the so-called government wasteland, which was under the possession of and cultivated by poor peasants is being leased out to the big houses and MNCs by forcibly evicting the peasants. As the land laws is a state subject, the NDA Government at the Centre is planning to bring it in the concurrent list and urging the states to dilute the LR laws existing in the states to suit the interest of the big houses. Already states like Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa are in the process of taking such anti-peasant steps. In this respect the BJP and Congress are in the same boat. This is dangerous not only for the peasantry but also disastrous for national economy. Landlessness and eviction will be expedited, rural unemployment will rise because of shrinking industrial labour market and the agrarian sector will go under the command of big houses and MNCs.
The 30th Conference of AIKS condemn this anti peasant step and calls upon the peasantry as well as the democratic forces to rise against it and politically isolate these forces.
Resolution On International Womens Day 8th March, 2003
The 30th National Conference of the All India Kisan Sabha expresses solidarity with women on the occasion of International Women Day and calls upon the peasantry of India to observe International Women Day every year with the consciousness that it is necessary to ensure that women, who form one half of the peasant population of the country, also enjoy the same rights and freedom of expression as the other half. This will further strengthen the democratic peasant movement in the crucial struggles against globalization, communalism and casteism.
This conference notes with pride that women have always taken militant part in all the glorious peasant struggles in India both before and after Independence. Their mass participation in historic struggles like Telangana, Tebhaga, Punnapra Vayalar, the Warli Adivasi revolt and others will always remain a great source of inspiration for future generations.
In the present context, it is necessary to consciously struggle for equal property rights for women including joint pattas; an end to evil social practices like dowry, female infanticide, child marriage, patriarchal oppression, bride burning, Sati-pratha etc. on women; increased access to girls and women in the fields of education, employment, and health; equal wages for equal works; and 33% reservation for women in parliament and in the state assemblies and against increasing cases of rapes, attacks, disrobing of their honour and other types of atrocities.
The 30th national Conference of the All India Kisan Sabha pledges to struggle for these and other issues of womens’ emancipation and calls upon all units of the Kisan Sabha in the country to ensure the greatest possible participation of women in both the movement and the organization at all levels, to strengthen the common struggle against oppression and exploitation.
Resolution Against Union Budget
The 30th national conference of the All India Kisan Sabha strongly condemns the anti-people anti-peasant Union Budget that has recently been placed by the BJP-led central government.
This budget represents yet another step in the continuing government surrender to imperialist institutions like the IMF, World Bank and WTO. Like all previous budgets of the BJP-led central government, it gives massive concessions to big business and multinationals, while attacking the living and working conditions of peasants and workers. It does nothing at all to address the two crucial problems of the Indian economy today- the unprecedented crisis in agriculture and the alarming increase is unemployment.
No step has been proposed to protect the peasantry that is reeling under the impact of price crashes caused by the removal of quantitative restrictions by this same regime. No provision has been made to give relief to the peasantry and agricultural workers who are groaning under the impact of one of the most serious droughts since independence.
On the contrary, the budget has sharply raised the price of fertilizers and has further imposed a 50 paise cess on diesel and Rs. 1.50 per litre additional excise on light diesel oil, which will have a cascading effect on all costs and prices, including in the agricultural sector.
The 30th national conference of the All India Kisan Sabha calls upon the peasantry throughout the country to launch a campaign against this reactionary budget and to organize massive demonstrations of the peasantry against this budget and against the LPG policies of the BJP-led central government, of which this budget forms an integral part.
Resolution on Communalism and Other Divisive Forces
The 30th conference of All India Kisan Sabha notes with great concern the increasing activities of communal forces backed and encourage by the central ruling party BJP and led by Sangh Parivar. Carnage and barbarian acts committed in Gujarat last year, is the glaring example of their nefarious games. They are bent upon to whip up the communal tension throughout the country with an eye on ensuing parliamentary and some Assembly elections. Through these divisive tactics they are bent upon to disrupt the unity of the people and thus jeopardize the national unity of the Country.
The fundamentalists among minorities are also trying to raise their heads utilizing this unfortunate situation.
In some parts of the country other divisive and separatists and casteist forces are also attempting to create serious disruption to the social harmony in the society as seen in Tripura, J & K and in some other states.
This conference pledges to fight the communal and all the divisive forces tooth & nail, and calls upon the people of the country in general and peasantry in particular to defeat their nefarious and disruptive games as to uphold the unity of the people and defend the national unity. This unity is must to carry forward our struggles against LPG policies of the govt, and also for fighting against the exploitation of toiling masses.
Resolution On The Indian Environment
The Conference of the all Kisan Sabha is concerned that the environments of India is being polluted and exploited by the multinational companies of the world and others.
In 1993 the Earth summit held at Rio-De-Janeiro, gave a call for the diversity of plants, systems and everything. The summit said that diversity was the essence of life. In the following year an International document was signed by more than 150 countries of the world known as the Conference on Bio-diversity. The convention was signed by India also but it took 10 years for our Government to draft a bill on Bio-diversity. This bill is with the Government and may be presented to the parliament this year.
Although signed latter and by less countries, the trips agreement of 1994 at Marakesh was converted into a bill soon afterwards and became a law of the country last year. It may be asked why it took longer, and such a long time for the CBD to be converted into a law. Moreover, while CBD gave a call for Bio-diversity, the trips agreement was followed by homogenius, Standarised agreements of WTO on a number of subjects. It is clear that trips and Earth summit stood on opposite poles and it was wrong for the Government of India to sign both.
The trips agreement of 1994 stipulates that every plant should be patented and safe guarded with something else. Since the trips agreement many multinationals specializing in agriculture and allied business have entered Indian forests to collect seeds after some processing and patent those. This happened to Basmati, Haldi and other Indian plants, which are integral part of Indian cultural Landscape.
This Conference condemns these attempts by the multinational companies and demands from the Government of India to protect Indian plants and animals from the Bio-piracy of the multinational companies by listing Indian plants and animals thoroughly, comprehensively and completely through its agencies.
The Government also should take cognigence of the growing environmental curiousness of the Indian people. In particular effort should be made to protect Indian environment from exploitation by Indian big business and multinationals in this era of globalization, when these companies try to get large profits exploit resources.
Resolution On Draught
The severe draught of 2002 pervading the country is the worst ever since the year 1918 according to the Ministry of Agriculture, affecting more than 317 districts in 16 states, of which Rajasthan is the worst affected.
According to the estimates the areas sown with paddy, oilseeds and pulses are lagging behind to the extent of 58 lakh hectares, 9 lakh hectares and 17 lakh hectares respectively, the overall agricultural production dropping by 13%. High death rates of cattle and distress sales were witnessed in Rajasthan and other places. Fodder is not available. Drinking water has become a scarce commodity in many places and starvation deaths of working people and Adivasis inhabiting in the interior parts of hilly tracts are being reported frequently. Consequently large-scale migration of rural poor to cities where building contractors mercilessly exploits them.
The draught relief measures undertaken by the Central and various state Governments are just perfunctory and fall short of the requirements. Even the wages paid to the labourers working in the food for work schemes undertaken as draught Relief Projects are far less than the minimum wages declared by these Governments. The contractors are exploiting the draught affected poor working people mercilessly.
Apart from the whimsical pranks of nature, which again are also the bitter fruit of wanton destruction of natural ecological conditions by greedy contractors fleecing the forests recklessly, it is the utter neglect of the agrarian infrastructure by the Central and state Governments, which has led to the worst draught of the century. It is pertinent to note that it is at the behest of the New economic policy adopted under the dictates of the World Bank-IMF-WTO trio.
The public investment in the Agriculture sector has been declining.
The response of the BJP led Central Governments to the demands for assistance by the various state Governments has been scanty and negligible. The estimated requirement was for Rs. 35000 crore, the Centre has allotted a paltry amount of Rs.2000 crores only. This allotment is again disbursed with biased political considerations giving a raw deal to the non-NDA states. It is witnessed in the case of Maharashtra, Rajasthan etc. The Central and state Governments concerned have been trying hard to put the blame for the sufferings of the draught affected people on each other and also on the work of nature. The frequent recurrence of the draught and famine in the decade of adoption of the new economic policy is reminiscent to similar famines and draughts occurring in the colonial rule, the root cause of the same being the callous neglect of the agrarian infrastructure.
The 30th Conference of the All India Kisan Sabha demands that:
The Central Government must give up the attitude of cold neutrality and must actively intervene in the promotion of agrarian infrastructure by enhancing the public investment in this sector.
The Central Government must renounce biased against the Non-NDA states.
The Central Government and state Governments must arrange financial resources for providing sufficient food, work, drinking water and fodder to the draught affected people. The draught should be treated as a national calamity.
Food for work schemes of employment is undertaken generously by the Governments concerned, directly and not through contractors. The system of piece rate work should be scrapped. The task base measurement should be done away.
A substantial part of the remuneration for the work be paid in kind with food coupons encashable at the PDS shops, Employment Centres and Government godowns only.
The payment of all dues to Governments and other institutions i.e. Co-operatives Banks, in the form of interest be suspended for the year and should be totally annulled in case of landless labourers and poor peasants be waived absolutely.
The comprehensive crop Insurance scheme be promulgated and implemented.
CREDENTIAL REPORT Date: 09-03-2003
1. NO. OF STATES: -23
2. GENDER STATUS:
3. MARITAL POSITION
5. CLASS ORIGIN
|OTHER MIDDLE CLASS||104||01||105|
6. PRESENT OCCUPATION:-
|MIDDLE CLASS EMPLOYEE||75||02||77|
7. OWNERSHIP OF LAND:-
|UPTO 1 ACRE||226||09||235|
|UPTO 2.5 ACRE||171||09||180|
|UPTO 5 ACRES||89||08||97|
|UPTO 10 ACRES||35||03||38|
|ABOVE 10 ACRES||28||28|
8. MONTHLY INCOME
|UPTO RS. 1000||149||11||160|
|FROM RS. 1000 TO 3000||270||08||278|
|FROM RS. 3000 TO 5000||100||08||108|
|FROM RS. 5000 TO 10000||104||104|
|ABOVE RS. 10000||31||05||36|
9. PARTICIPATION IN IMPORTANT STRUGGLE
|INFRA STRUCTURE INPUTS||108||04||112|
|OTHER DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENTS||432||25||457|
11. NO. OF CHILDREN
|ABOVE THREE CHILDREN||123||08||131|
12. ORGANISATIONAL STATUS
13. YEAR OF JOINING A.I.K.S.
14. JAIL LIFE
|UPTO 1 MONTH||370||04||374|
|UPTO 3 MONTH||80||03||83|
|UPTO 6 MONTH||33||33|
|ABOVE 5 YEARS||10||10|
15. UNDERGROUND LIFE
|UPTO 1 MONTH||67||67|
|UPTO 3 MONTH||40||03||43|
|UPTO 6 MONTH||41||41|
|ABOVE 5 YEARS||09||09|
16. ELECTION POSITION:-
|VILLAGE PANACHAYAT MEMBER||25||01||26|
|MEMBER OF ZILLA PARISAD||33||01||34|
Office bearers, CKC, AIKC
- President, S. Ramachandran Pillai
- Vice President, HKS Surjeet
- Vice President, Benoy Konar
- Vice President, Paloli Mohd. Kutty
- Vice President, R.N. Goswami
- Vice President, S. Malia Reddy
- General Secretary, K. Varadha Rajan
- Joint Secretary. NK Shukla
- Joint Secretary. Mehboob Zahedi
- Joint Secretary. Bajuban Reang
- Joint Secretary. Suryakant Misra
- Joint Secretary. Ashok Dhawale
- Joint Secretary. Lehambar Singh Taggar
(AND FIFTY TWO (52) MEMBERS CKC (CENTRAL KISAN COMMITTEE) AND 135 MEMEBR ALL INDIA KISAN COUNCIL AIKC) were elected
- Samar Baora (W.B)
- Tarun Roy
- Nripen Choudhary
- Abdul Razzak Mollah
- Madan Ghosh
- Aduntya Roy
- Biplab Das Gupta
- T.K. Ramakrishnan (Kerala)
- Kodiyeri Balakrishnan
- CKP Padmanabhan
- MK Bhaskaran
- Khagen Das (Tripura)
- Narayan Kar
- K. Balakrishann (Tamilnadu)
- P. Shanmugham
- K. Mohemmed Ali
- B. Tulsi Das (Andhra Pradesh )
- K. Venkata Narayana
- Maruti Manpade (Karnataka)
- Bayya Reddy
- Abhiram Behra (Orissa)
- Subodh Roy (Bihar)
- B.K. Thakur
- Rajendra Singh Munda (Jharkhand)
- Jaswinder Singh (Madhya Pradesh)
- Sanjay Parate (Chattisgarh)
- Kuber Bhai Bhambhi (Gujarat)
- Deenanath Singh (U.P)
- D.P. Singh
- Gangadhar Nautial (Uttranchal)
- Sheopat Singh (Rajasthan)
- Duli Chand
- Onkarshaad (Himachal Pradesh)
- Gulam Nabi Malik (J&K)
- Krishna Khopkar (Maharashtra)
- Rachhpal Singh (Punjab)
- Uddhab Barman (Assam)
- Purno Boro
- Krishna Swarup (Haryana)
- Harkishan Singh Surjeet (From Centre)
- S. Ramachandran Pillai
- K. Varadha Rajan
- N. K. Shukla
- Benoy Konar (W.B)
- R. N. Goswami
- Mehboob Zahedi
- Samar Baora
- Suryakant Mishra
- Tarun Roy
- Nripen Choudhary
- Abdul Razzak Mollah
- Madan Ghosh
- Achintya Roy
- Biplab Das Gupta
- Pitabasan Das
- Manindra Gope
- Gaur Saha
- Amitaba Basu
- Timir Ghosh
- Kala Chand Natu
- Anil Patra
- S.K. Israel
- Biswant Ghosh
- Anil Bose
- Sanjay Putatundu
- Farooque Azam
- Sadhan Saha
- Anil Saha
- Biswanath Ghosh
- Manabesh Chaudhury
- Dilip Ganguly
- Biplab Mazumdar
- Debu Chatterjee
- Jayanta Bhattacharya
- Upen Kisku
- Dinabandhu Banerjee
- Dinesh Dakua
- Harish Barman
- Anup Maity
- Tarubala Biswas (Women)
- Dipali Mandal (Women)
- Paloli Md. Kutty (Kerala)
- T.K. Ramakrishnan
- Kodiyeri Balakrishnan
- CKP Padmanabhan
- MK Bhaskaran
- CP Balan Vydyarr
- P. Sudhakaran
- K.V. Ramakrishnan
- K P. Arvindakshan
- MV Koman Nambiar
- SK Asary
- KM Joseph
- Sreerenjini Vishwanathan (Women)
- G. Ponnamma (Women)
- Khagen Das (Tripura)
- Badal Choudhary
- Narayan Kar
- Baju Ban Reang
- Aghore Debbarma
- Niranjan Debbarma
- K. Balakrishann (Tamilnadu)
- P. Shanmugham
- K. Mohemmed Ali
- G. Mani
- RC Palanivelu
- M. Lagumaiah
- R. Parma Sivan
- N. Pandey
- S. Mall Reddy (Andhra Pradesh)
- B. Tulsidas
- K. Venkata Narasayya
- B. Chandra Reddy
- Y. Kesava Rao
- Y. Visweswar Reddy
- Vasudeva Reddy
- P. Narasimha Rao
- Vacant for (women)
- Maruthi Manpade (Karnataka)
- Bayya Reddy
- Basaraja U
- Venkatesh KM
- Com. Abhiram Behra (Orissa)
- Jagannath Misra
- Subodh Roy (Bihar)
- B.K. Thakur
- R.D. Verma
- Ram Asheray Singh
- Abdhesh Kumar
- Krishnakant Singh
- Rajendra Singh Munda (Jharkhand)
- Jaswinder Singh (Madhya Pradesh)
- Ram Narayan Kuraria
- Sanjay Parate (Chattisgarh)
- Krishna Swarup (Haryana)
- Phool Singh Sheokand
- Kuber Bhai J. Bhambhi (Gujarat)
- L Kunjo (Manipur)
- Deenanath Singh (U.P)
- D.P. Singh
- Mukut Singh
- Karmveer Singh
- Bharat Singh
- Gangadhar Nautial (Uttranchal)
- Sheopat Singh (Rajasthan)
- Duli Chand
- Amra Ram
- Onkarshaad (Himachal Pradesh)
- Kuldeep Singh
- Amar Singh Raghava
- Gulam Nabi Malik (J&K)
- Om Prakash
- Krishna Khopkar (Maharashtra)
- Ashok Dhawale
- L.B. Dhangar
- J.P. Gavit
- Rachhpal Singh (Punjab)
- Lambar Singh Taggar
- Daljit Singh
- Inderjit Singh
- Darshan Singh Mattu
- Gurdial Singh
- Guru Chetan Singh
- Uddhab Barman (Assam)
- Purno Boro
- Bipin Hazarika
- Nizammudin Khan
- Khemraj Chetry
- Pradip Choudhury
Statement of Accounts
|Cash in bank||4,02,681.46|
|Cash in hand||1,03,777.79||25,06,459.25|
|Mess expenses||541.50||Affiliation fee||5,08,827.00|
|Subsidy to states||73,045.00|
|Loan & Advance||9,983.00|
|Cash in Bank||7,28,681.40|
|Cash in Hand||1,67,087.75|
|Cash in bank||7,28,681.40|
|Cash in hand||1,67,087.75||28,95,769.15|
|Mess expenses||8,540.95||Affiliation fee||7,23,370.30|
|Stationery||23,472.75||Loan & Advance||63,114.35|
|Postage||14,335.00||Bihar relief fund||78,547.50|
|Conveyance||19,296.00||Orissa relief fund||68,594.00|
|Tour expenses||96,467.30||FD/Bank interest||2,38,117.00|
|Subsidy to states||3,14,955.00|
|Repair & Maintenance||2,437.00|
|Orissa relief fund||1,00,000.00|
|Cash in Bank||3,99,242.00|
|Cash in Hand||1,54,933.03|
|Cheque in hand||4,62,500.00|
|Cash in bank||3,99,242.00|
|Cash in hand||1,54,933.03|
|Cheque in hand||4,62,500.00||30,16,675.03|
|Mess expenses||7,746.10||Affiliation fee||2,33,596.70|
|Subsidy to states||4,73,329.00|
|Repair & Maintenance||476.00|
|Loan & Advance||32,075.00|
|Cash in Bank||1,57,735.35|
|Cash in Hand||65,042.80|
|Cash in bank||1,57,735.35|
|Cash in hand||65,042.80||19,56,953.15|
|Mess expenses||4,936.75||Affiliation fee||7,34,903.95|
|Postage||5,154.00||Gujarat relief fund||31,015.00|
|Conveyance||7,154.00||Refund of security deposit||5,588.00|
|Subsidy to states||4,08,020.00|
|Repair & Maintenance||590.00|
|Loan & Advance||600.00|
|Cash in Bank||1,32,716.00|
|Cash in Hand||11,453.35|
|Cash in bank||1,32,716.00|
|Cash in hand||11,435.35||18,78,344.35|
|Mess expenses||2,880.00||Affiliation fee||7,75,794.55|
|Stationery||11,826.00||Loan & Advance||7,800.00|
|Subsidy to states||1,84,000.00|
|Gujarat Relief fund||31,015.00|
|Cash in Bank||10,862.70|
|Cash in Hand||442.60|
All India Kisan Sabha, Membership Chart
|4||Jharkhand||With Bihar||With Bihar||With Bihar||22760||35360||With Bihar||With Bihar|
|8||Jammu & Kashmir||6000||4000||7000||4000||6000||Equal||Equal|
|12||Madhya Pradesh||48,965||37534||50411||39897||32,270||Decrease 11181||Decrease 22.83|
|13||Chattisgarh||With M.P||With M.P||With M.P||3790||5,514||Only In M.P||With M.P|
|22||Uttaranchal||With U.P||With U.P||With U.P||With U.P||16573||With U.P||With U.P|
Date: 6-9 March 2003, Jalandar(Punjab)
Author: AIKS Publication