July 31, 2022

Karnataka: Convention for harmonious, prosperous State

T L Krishnegowda

LEFT, secular and democratic parties in Karnataka held a state-level convention in Bengaluru for a harmonious, prosperous people's Karnataka. The convention was held on July 16, 2022, in Ambedkar Bhavan. In this convention, more than one thousand activists and cadres of CPI(M), CPI, SUCI(C), CPIML( Liberation), Forward Block, RPI and Swaraj India participated.

The convention was inaugurated by beating the drums. On this occasion, a booklet titled "Alternative Policies of Left, Secular and Democratic Parties for building a harmonious, prosperous and people's Karnatakaā€¯, was released. 


Speaking at the convention, CPI(M) state secretary, U Basavaraju in his introductory speech, said, "Amidst the celebration of 75 years of India's independence, the realities of people's lives cannot be forgotten. Despite spending crores in the name of development, inequality is widening. Every half an hour a farmer commits suicide. Hunger is claiming more lives than Covid. People of poor families in the state are dying every day. The per capita income of BPL families is below 50 rupees per day. These families are more than 1.40 crore. On the other hand, 3000 companies own half of the state's GDP. In these 75 years, successive governments have failed to solve the basic problems. So, the Left, secular and democratic parties should fight for alternative policies." 

Another CPI(M) leader, G C Byyareddy, talking about the alternative agricultural policies, said that "It is not a change of netas, but a change of policies is needed. The land is still an important issue in India, which is still an agricultural country. In the countryside, in the villages, 30 per cent population are landless agricultural labourers, and more than 70 per cent are small farmers. If agriculture is to progress, the landless, the small farmers, and the dalits should be given land and land records. Bagar hukum farmers are cultivating 35 lakh acres of government and forest land. But the government is denying them the land and the land records. Instead of giving the land to the cultivators, the government is talking about leasing the land to them. This is unacceptable, agriculture needs the cooperatisation, not corporatisation" he said.


Swaraj India state vice president, J M Veerasangaiah in his speech said, "Dairy farming will be hit by the prohibition of Cattle Slaughter Act. The introduction of prepaid meters for farmers using pump sets will make electricity rates expensive. The amendment to the APMC Act has made the market inaccessible to small farmers. The amendment to the Land Act has pushed small farmers to sell their land. These four anti-farmer laws of the state have to be fought," he said.

Speaking on the issues of the industrial front, CPI state council member, H C Ramakrishna said that,  the working class of the country, organised as part of the freedom struggle, won several rights. Acts were enacted in favour of the working people. But now these Acts are being weakened. BJP government at the centre is changing 44 Labour Acts into four Codes. There are lakhs of unorganised workers in the state too. They don't even have a minimum wage. Success cannot be achieved only by struggle. An alternative political force has to be established on the basis of alternative political consciousness among the workers, he said.


Addressing the convention, SUCI(C) state secretary, K Uma said, "Education has been commercialised. The NEP that has just been implemented is also a complement to this. The degree course has been increased to four years. Government schools with low enrollment will be closed in the name of the merger of schools. Distortion of facts and history by the Chakratheertha-led textbook re- review committee has been done."  But it is a hopeful development that strong resistance is coming.  On the other hand, non-controversial issues like hijab, halal etc., have been brought to the fore and the friendly atmosphere has been polluted. Unemployment is also high. There is illegality and corruption in the recruitment and the youth are angry. In such a situation, people's rights are being taken away to suppress their struggle. Words criticising the government have also been banned in Parliament," she remarked.

In his concluding speech, Sathi Sundresh of CPI, on behalf of presidium, hoped that the message and resolve of the convention should be taken to the panchayat level.  These alternative policies should be the main political issue in the coming elections and these policies should be upheld in the legislature along with the street struggle he said.

Mohan Raj of RPI and G R Shivshankar of Forward Bloc also spoke. SUCI(C) state committee member M N Sriram and CPI(ML) Liberation Party's, Maitreyi Krishnan moderated the programme.