THE Maharashtra state workshop of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) was held at Comrade BTR Bhavan, Belapur, New Mumbai on November 3-4, 2017. It was attended by 122 leading activists from 21 districts. The workshop was made up of two parts.
One was a series of lectures on major topics. The second was a serious district-wise group discussion on planning of both the movement and the organisation for the coming one year on the basis of a 15-point questionnaire given by the state centre. This district planning was placed before the entire workshop by one leading activist per district.
SERIES OF LECTURES
The workshop was inaugurated by former AIKS state president J P Gavit, MLA. Its highlight was the reporting of the victorious Rajasthan peasant struggle for loan waiver, by former AIKS president Amra Ram, ex-MLA. This enthused all the participants. AIKS president Dr Ashok Dhawale then reported on the 34th all India conference of the AIKS that was held at Hisar in Haryana. AIKS state general secretary Dr Ajit Nawale placed the direction and tasks before the Maharashtra Rajya Kisan Sabha for the next one year. This had been discussed and finalised in an AIKS state office bearers meeting the previous night.
On the second day, various AIKS state office bearers briefly placed the main issues before the peasantry of Maharashtra, as follows: Land Rights – Umesh Deshmukh, Remunerative Prices – Yashwant Zade, Right to Food – Arjun Adey, Cooperatives and Value Addition – Sunil Malusare. AIKS state office bearers Ratan Budhar, Dr Uday Narkar, Udayan Sharma, Uddhav Poul, Shankar Sidam, Savliram Pawar, Radka Kalangda and Sidhappa Kalshetty chaired the different sessions of the workshop. AIKS state president Kisan Gujar made the concluding speech and reiterated the tasks set for the coming one year.
DECISIONS OF WORKSHOP
After the district-wise group discussion on the planning of both movement and organisation on the basis of the given questionnaire, the workshop took these important decisions:
1. The Maharashtra Rajya Kisan Sabha will mobilise 5,000 peasants for the nationwide Kisan Sansad in Delhi on November 20-21 directed against the BJP-led central government on the two cardinal issues of peasant loan waiver and remunerative prices. District-wise targets for this rally were set and preparations have begun.
2. The state government has started forcible recovery of electricity bills from the peasants who are already in distress, and it has also started cutting of power connections of the defaulters. This will be stoutly opposed at the local level and the cut power connections will be rejoined through struggle.
3. As the next step in the state-wide joint peasant struggle for loan waiver and remunerative prices, the peasants would pour agricultural produce in front of the district and tehsil government offices all over the state on November 10. This action was successfully carried out in several centres by thousands of peasants.
4. The Kisan Sabha state and district centres will be strengthened, the AIKS leadership at all levels will give priority to Kisan Sabha work, proper division of responsibilities amongst state and district office bearers will be planned and stringently implemented and stress will be given on both consolidation and expansion.
5. The three lakh membership target of the AIKS for this year will be achieved through a concerted statewide mass campaign in November and December. District-wise membership targets were finalised. Regular registration of village committees will be monitored. Regular and independent fund drives will be conducted.
6. Each district, as per its concrete situation, will select and decide its priority of work among the following five broad areas: loan waiver and remunerative prices; land rights; right to food; right to health; cooperative sector and value addition of agricultural produce. Local agitations on these issues will be launched.
7. Separate organisations of sugarcane-growing peasants and of peasants cultivating temple lands, affiliated to the AIKS, will be set up in the near future.
8. Concerted and systematic efforts at both state and district levels would be made to impart political, agrarian and organisational education to Kisan Sabha activists.
9. Considering the crucial importance of the media, special media cells of the AIKS that will handle both mainstream media and social media will be set up at the state level and in every district. There will be a convenor in each district, whose name was decided by the district representatives themselves in this workshop.
The AIKS state workshop then concluded amidst great enthusiasm and resounding slogans.