AIKS Calls for Intensified Struggles against Anti-farmer Policies

P Krishnaprasad

THE All India Kisan Sabha held its kisan council meeting in Thiruvananthapuram on Aug 1-2. It has called upon the peasantry to be prepared for countrywide united struggle to achieve its two main demands of remunerative prices at 50 per cent above the cost of production for all crops with procurement centres and comprehensive loan waiver including private credit, to stop mounting peasant suicides.

AIKS units will participate in the August 9 district rally/jail bharo call of the Bhoomi Adhikar Andolan and organise the campaign/ strike in many districts across the country. It will also join the jail bharo struggle from August 9-15 called by the Rashtriya Kisan Mahasabha. AIKS also will join the Kisan Mukthi Yatra to be organised in southern, eastern and northern parts of the country and the November 20th parliament march called by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC). AIKS will participate in the all India convention of all Left and democratic mass and class organisations in New Delhi from September 15-18 in New Delhi. 

The meeting observed that the joint issue-based peasant struggle has been intensified in western India including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.  The struggle has to be developed into an all India level so that the peasantry could influence the political process in the country and stop the anti-farmer agrarian policy of the BJP led central government with the help of mass and class organisations and Left and democratic political parties. AIKS will play its role in the process of building united struggle across the country.

AIKS and Bhoomi Adhikar Andolan have played a decisive role in mobilising the peasantry on concrete issues. The Modi government got its first jolt when AIKS and BAA succeeded to force the government to freeze the most anti-farmer, pro-corporate Land Acquisition Bill with the help of political parties. The AIKS has filed a PIL in the Supreme Court which stayed the anti-farmer government order banning sale of cattle in cattle markets for the purpose of slaughter. Against lynching of Muslims and dalits by cow vigilante groups, BAA and AIKS mobilised the peasantry and the public. AIKS has given Rs 15 lakhs to the families of Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer and the other victims in Alwar lynching incident when the BJP led Rajasthan government failed to give a single rupee as compensation.

AIKS supports the seven-point demand charter of BAA that central government and all state governments must enact law to ensure remunerative prices of 50 per cent above cost of production for all crops, guarantee purchase centres as recommended by the National Farmers’ Commission chaired by M S Swaminathan and promote peasant cooperatives for large scale modern agro-processing and marketing networks. AIKS demands  comprehensive loan waiver to the peasantry covering institutional as well as private loans; ensure interest free, institutional credit for agriculture to cover all peasant households and measures on war-footing to stop peasant suicides.  

The other demands are:

·       immediately withdraw the anti-farmer notification of the central government banning cattle trade in the cattle market. Ensure strict legal action against the communal elements unleashing violence and mob lynching especially against Muslims and dalits in the name of ‘cow protection’.

·       withdraw officially the land acquisition bill from the parliament and stop all unlawful displacement and eviction.

·       strict implementation of Forest Rights Act within a stipulated time frame of one year.

·       comprehensive implementation of MNREGA linking with agriculture and ensure minimum wage to all rural workers.

·       ensure monthly pension of Rs 5000 at the age of 60 to all agriculture workers and small and marginal peasants holding up to two hectares of land.

AIKC has decided to support BAA’s decision to form state units of Bhoomi Adhikaar Andolan within three months in maximum states to advance united  issue-based movements.

PEASANTRY REJECTS ‘MODANI MODEL’ OF DEVELOPMENT

The Modi-Adani model of economic development being pursued by the central government promotes corporate exploitation and super profits from agriculture, industry, and market apart from intensified appropriation of natural resources. The policies such as 100 per cent FDI in agriculture and retailing, e-platform to link all agriculture produce markets, contract farming and Free Trade Agreements that facilitate establishing corporate hegemony over petty production and imposition of Goods and  Service Tax (GST) annihilating the federal character of the country are detrimental to the peasantry and agriculture.

After demonetisation and the resultant crash of market price of all crops and the recent government order banning cattle trade for slaughter that deeply affects the small and poor peasants who own 50 per cent of the cattle wealth, the unrest is widening among all sections including peasants, workers, dalits, adivasis, minorities, women and the youth.  Peasant suicides have been reported extensively now and this trend is escalating. AIKS observes that the agrarian crisis will be intensified in the near future if the central government does not change its anti-farmer policies.

AIKS NATIONAL CONFERENCE

AIKS will hold its 34th all India conference on from October 3-6, 2017 at Hisar, Haryana. This conference will resolve to expand the Kisan Sabha activities in weak regions especially the Hindi speaking region, utilising the growing discontent and fury among the peasantry against the Modi government. The main slogan of the conference is ‘onwards to united issue-based peasant struggles to overcome agrarian crisis’. The conference will begin with a huge peasant-mazdoor rally on October 3.

As part of an expansion drive AIKS will propagate the slogan ‘Har Gaon mein Kisan Sabha Har Kisan Kisan Sabha’ (In every village Kisan Sabha-every peasant kisan sabha)  A central seminar will be organised at Hisar with the constituents of Bhoomi Adhikar Andolan on the importance of united issue-based peasant movement to overcome the agrarian crisis.  Posters of erstwhile leaders of AIKS with a leaflet on brief history of the AIKS would be published.

The council meeting adopted resolutions against imposition of GST that affects agriculture and rural development, in support of the ongoing united peasant struggles in different parts of the country and demanding the central government to provide immediate relief for the people affected by floods in Assam and north eastern states, Gujarat and parts of Rajasthan.

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