Vol. XLI No. 41 October 08, 2017
34th All India Conference of AIKS’s Clarion Call: Unite and Rise to Defeat Anti-Farmer Policies

G Mamatha in Hisar

THE 34th Conference of the All India Kisan Sabha began in Hisar with a massive Kisan-Mazdoor (peasant-worker) rally. Thousands of farmers and workers from all over the state gathered at the Old Government College Grounds in Hisar, where the public meeting was held.

The main speaker at the rally, Manik Sarkar, chief minister of Tripura, addressing the magnificent rally said that the policies pursued by the successive governments led by the Congress as well as the BJP, have benefitted the big capitalists, landlords, corporate houses and multinational companies and have ruined the peasantry, working people, students, youth, women – the common masses. Both the Congress and the BJP are the two sides of the same coin when it comes to unleashing anti-people policies. Posing question as to what the alternative to both these parties is, he dwelt at length on the pro-people measures adopted by the Left-led governments in Kerala, Tripura and earlier in West Bengal in the areas of health, education, land reforms, agriculture etc and said that this is the alternative. The AIKS has a major role to play in forming this alternative as more than 70 per cent of people reside in rural areas, and of this, about 80 per cent are dependent on agriculture. Recently, a national convention of more than hundred class, mass and social organisations was held in New Delhi and have decided to mobilise around a charter of demands. He said based on this we have to organise struggles all over the country, from our independent platforms and from the joint platforms. United struggles must be forged, he said. Congratulating the Rajasthan unit of the AIKS for the valiant struggle they had recently, Manik Sarkar said that the Rajasthan kisan movement has proved that the alternative will emerge only through the struggles. He noted that without the solidarity of various other sections of people, mounting such pressure would have been difficult.

Manik Sarkar underlined that the BJP is trying to divide people to divert their discontent being channelised into struggles. It is attacking the secular fabric of our country, trampling upon the democratic rights and is resorting to authoritarian measures. Without safeguarding the unity of the people, we cannot fight for our struggles, he said.

All India president of CITU, Hemalata, speaking at the Kisan – Mazdoor rally, underscored the need for worker-peasant unity and struggles to rebuff the neoliberal policies that destroy people’s livelihoods. She said the farmers struggles in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and other states that compelled the state governments to concede their major demands – loan waiver, minimum support price for their produce, government procurement, withdrawal of the hike in electricity charges etc – have inspired the entire working class in the country. Congratulating the AIKS for taking the initiative to build a broad platform comprising many organisations working on the demands of the farmers, Hemalata pointed out that CITU has taken the initiative to unite the working class and since 1991, when the neoliberal policies were initiated in our country by the then Congress government, 17 joint country wide strikes have been organised. She thanked the AIKS for extending solidarity and support to many of these struggles. The joint trade union convention held recently in New Delhi has called for a massive three-day ‘mahapadav’ near Parliament from November 9-11 this year. CITU is making full preparations to mobilise tens of thousands of workers from all over the country every day, for this unprecedented form of struggle by the joint trade union movement. Hemalata appealed the AIKS to extend solidarity and support for this struggle too.

Hannan Mollah, AIKS all India general secretary, addressing the rally said that the Kisan Sabha has been in the forefront in forging issue-based united struggles to resist agrarian crisis. He spoke about the failures of the BJP government at the centre in implementing its promises given to the people ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, particularly the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission to provide a minimum support price of one and a half times the production cost and the promise of providing a loan waiver. He said the BJP government at the centre is trying to communally polarise people in order to wean away anger and protests against their anti-farmer, anti-people policies towards their divisive agenda. Mollah called upon the farmers to rise in unison and defeat such policies and secure the future of our country.

CITU state president Satvir Singh, AIAWU leader Ramkumar Behabalpuria, AIDWA leader Shakuntla Jakhad, Harpal Singh, CKC member also addressed the gathering. The rally was presided over by state president Master Sher Singh. Phool Singh Seokand, AIKS state secretary conducted the rally.

Earlier, three books were released in the public meeting by Manik Sarkar and Hannan Mollah.



Resolution Appealing Peasantry to Support March for Democracy on Oct 5

The 34th AIKS Conference taking place in Hisar, Haryana has unanimously passed the following resolution against the killing of Gauri Lankesh and called for solidarity with protests and March for Democracy on October 5, 2017. The resolution was moved by AIKS President Amra Ram and seconded by its joint secretary Vijoo Krishnan.

THE 34th Conference of AIKS appeals to the peasantry and all sections of the people to support the March for Democracy on October 5, 2017, happening exactly after one month of  the assassination of Gauri Lankesh. March for Democracy will be organised in New Delhi and also in several parts of India demanding justice for Gauri. All progressive mass, class and social organisations, groups and individuals will be participating in the protest.

The assassination of Gauri Lankesh, two years after a similar horror was perpetrated on scholar MM Kalaburgi in Karnataka, is not an isolated act. The murder of rationalists Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar in Maharashtra earlier also follow the same pattern. These killings are a continuation of the chain of killings of Dalits and Muslims in the name of ‘cow protection’, ‘religion’ etc.

There have been many threats to activists, who have been countering communalism, and this has continued even after her death, with the killing of Santanu Bhowmick and as seen from the way eminent Bahujan academic Kancha Iliah was threatened and even physically attacked.

Being a founder member of Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike (The Communal Harmony Forum, Karnataka), Gauri Lankesh was actively involved in the resistance against reactionary forces along with other progressive sections of Karnataka who had responded pro-actively and consistently to counter the growth of such trend in the society.

This conference demands that the police investigation must unearth the conspiracy and book the perpetrators without fail and the state government in Karnataka should expedite action in this direction by all means.

This conference insists above all that it is the utmost responsibility of the offices that are supposed to safeguard the constitutional values to discharge their duty impartially. But unfortunately the present dispensation in the centre under the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is shamelessly upholding and supporting the forces which are destroying communal harmony and democratic values that are entrenched in our society.

This conference appeals to every individual and collective that all those who think and feel for the future of humanity as a whole, to come forward and support the voice of unity for a harmonious and vibrant society.