December 20, 2020

Growing unity among the Agrarian Classes will Force the Modi Government to Give in

P Krishnaparasad

THE growing unity among the various agrarian classes is clearly visible in the ongoing farmers’ struggle. The enduring agrarian crisis that had taken a toll of over five lakh peasant suicides (since 1995) due to indebtedness is the major factor that ensures consolidation of the peasant classes against the neo-liberal policies. The pro-corporate farm laws making a paradigm shift in agriculture and also violating the federal character of the constitution have further intensified conflicts between the big capitalist forces on the one hand and the peasantry, including agricultural worker, poor and middle peasants, the rich peasantry and the capitalist farmers on the other hand. Even among the capitalist landlords, there is a division. The unconditional support of the working class under the leadership of the trade union movement to this class struggle to save the peasant agriculture is a major factor behind this process. The growing unity among different agrarian classes is a major development that will lead to far-reaching political repercussion across the country in isolating the neo-liberal forces.

The regional parties across India are shifting their allegiance away from the BJP, the main ruling class party in this background. It was apparent when, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), one of the oldest allies of the BJP was forced to quit the NDA in the midst of the intensifying peasant struggle in Punjab against the three Farm Acts and the Electricity Amendment Bill. In continuation to the same, many more regional parties who were in allegiance with the main ruling class party- the BJP have shifted their side by coming forth to declare supporting the farmer’s agitation. Including TRS, YSRCP, TDP, SP, RJD, TMC, JMM most of the regional parties have extended support. This process has thrown the BJP into political isolation, as dramatically seen during the unprecedented Bharat Bandh on December 8. The Congress party which had included agriculture market liberalisation in its manifesto of the 2019 general election was forced to shift its stand and come forward to support the farmers’ struggle. The struggle of the agrarian classes has opened a window for new political polarisation across the country is very much apparent.

The slogan of the corporate forces- “One Nation One Market” reverberated by the prime minister, Narendra Modi is being checkmated by this process.  The implementation of GST, denying the state governments their statutory rights of taxation was an onslaught on the federal character of India. The corporate forces and the international finance capital want to usurp the entire resources of the people of India through ensuring free access to agriculture land,   agro produce, the agriculture market and rural trade and transport infrastructure. The federal character of the country and the power of the state governments since we have adopted our Constitution were preventing to some extent such corporate invasion. However, the RSS-BJP led union government by imposing GST had effectively facilitated demolition of the federal structure that had helped India to continue as a democracy.

The corporate companies and their international counterparts want to have their domination over the Indian economy in which they have the freedom to decide the price for the farm produce and the wage and working time of the workers.  The multi-national corporations are always eyeing upon the domestic food market of India to pile up their food products for rapacious profiteering.  And now by bringing three Farm Acts and four labour codes, the Modi government is facilitating the corporatisation of agriculture and the entire Indian economy with the back-door entry of MNC’s through corporate mergers and facilitating foreign direct investment. Now the state governments are facing severe resource crunch and forced to depend on the Union government for financial support is the result of their surrender on the proposal for GST implementation.

In this situation, the working group of AIKSCC has decided to write to all the non-BJP chief ministers who had supported the struggle to have a summit on the question of GST, three Farm Acts and Electricity Amendment Bill. If materialised, this will help in the political consolidation of the efforts to protect the equitable development of all sections of the people by adhering to the constitutional landmark of democracy, secularism, socialism and federalism.

The most inspiring aspect that is coming forth in the political arena is the growing unity among the two major producing classes - the workers and the peasants. The naked pro-corporate stance of the Modi Government is represented by the enactment of the 3 Farm Acts and four labour codes which were adopted in close succession in the parliament session in September 2020. These have compelled both the workers and the peasants to unite to fight to protect their rights. This worker-peasant unity was seen clearly in the successful execution of all India strike of workers and all India struggle of peasants on November 26 and the successful implementation of Bharat Bandh on December 8, 2020.  Such two major actions within a span of two weeks mark the readiness of the people to fight these anti-people forces.

The unprecedented massive participation of both the working class and the peasantry including the landed peasantry and also other sections like small traders, petty producers etc., in the ongoing struggle needs to be assessed in the background of the systemic crisis of the world capitalist system and the plan of multi-national corporate forces to overcome the crisis by intensifying the exploitation of the basic classes by denying them the minimum adequate price and wage for a dignified life. The struggle has taken the correct direction of a mass movement against the corporate forces with the slogan ‘Boycott Ambani-Adani Products and Services’. This call has been received across the country with high enthusiasm and will develop as a mass movement in the days to come.

The unprecedented growing unity of the agrarian classes will be further cemented through the ongoing kisan struggle across the country, and will strongly counter the cynical handwork by the Modi government to divide the kisan movement. Gathering a few totally inconsequential “paper kisan organisations” in support of the three anti-farmer and pro-corporate Farm Acts to misguide the nation has been exposed as a futile exercise in the context of the growing massive participation of lakhs of farmers in the struggle across the country. The central government is - apart from using repression against the farmers in the struggle, trying a dangerous game of pitting states against each other endangering the unity of the nation.  The kisan movement is gaining more confidence with the tremendous response by the people throughout states to the consistent calls of protests and will further intensify the struggle till the demand of repeal of three Farm Acts and the Electricity Bill is met with. 

The prime minister’s stand to not settle the farmers struggle and refusing repeal of laws making it, a prestige issue will lead to such a situation that more and more sections of the people will come forward and join the struggle. This stand exposes the image of Modi as a feeble and helpless administrator under the corporate grip, unable to resolve the massive struggle of the farmers who are sitting in lakhs, day and night in the cold winter and thus resolve the massive siege to the capital for more than three weeks now. Already 30 people have died in this protest spots due to accidents, hostile weather and illness. The cold-blooded mindset of the rulers will fail in front of the ironclad determination of the struggling masses.