THE three week long Kisan Sangharsh Jatha, organised by the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), concluded in a huge public rally in New Delhi on November 24, 2016. The jatha originated from four different destinations in India – Jammu, Kolkata, Virudhunagar and Kanyakumari. Each jatha led by their leaders – Amra Ram, Hannan Mollah, Vijoo Krishnan and P Krishnaprasad respectively – travelled a cumulative distance of 25,000 km covering almost all regions of the country.
THE All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU), in a statement issued on November 19 has demanded the central government to make immediate arrangements to dispense the wages of MNREGA workers on priority basis. Crores of MNREGA workers have not been paid due to lack of lower denomination notes over the last two weeks. Crores of workers’ wage dues are pending for more than three months and the central government has admitted the same in Supreme Court and assured that it will be paid as soon as possible.
THE agrarian crisis in India is a reflection of the economic policies pursued by the Indian State and can be resolved only by reversing them altogether. The crisis has manifested in the forms of increasing landlessness, widespread indebtedness, massive peasant suicides and alarming distress migration from rural to urban regions. Between 1991 and 2011, around 1.5 crore farmers -- 2,035 per day -- have been forced to give up cultivation and look for other occupations in order to overcome their crisis of subsistence.
Mollah said that the Modi-government has backtracked on his promises made earlier to the peasantry. Peasantry, being that section of the population whose production feeds the entire nation, is being compelled to resort to suicides and starvation deaths due to complete lack of apathy on the part of the government. This lackadaisical stand of the government can only be responded by a firm whip of mass movements. Towards that objective, four peasant jathas from four corners of the nation will travel across the country and converge in Delhi.
THE Kisan Sangharsh Jatha has begun from the historic Deshabandhu Grounds in Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu on November 2, 2016. The venue is named after Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das who had visited the place in the height of the freedom struggle and has witnessed the beginning of many historic struggles. It was from Virudhunagar that Tyagi Shankarlinganar hailed. He carried on a historic fast unto death for 76 days demanding the naming of the state as “Tamizhagam” or the land of Tamils.
THE All India Co-ordination Committee of Sugarcane growers met at Sundarayya Vigyan Kendram, Hyderabad in September last week. Representatives from ten states (Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Bihar, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand) participated in this meeting. The meeting began with opening remarks by AIKS general secretary Hannan Mollah, S Malla Reddy presided over the meeting. The report was presented by N K Shukla, convenor and supplemented by Vijoo Krishnan, co-convenor.
THE All India Kisan Sabha has taken up an important programme at the all India level. Four Kisan Sangharsh Jathas will be held from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Jammu & Kashmir and West Bengal from November 2-23. They will cover thousands of kilometres moving through villages and cities addressing meetings, interacting with the peasantry and rural poor, highlighting the problems and demands of the kisans.
THE All India Kisan Sabha, in a statement issued on October 5, has noted that the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) and the BJP-led NDA government seem to be in an undue haste to commercially release GM Mustard. This is despite the absence of any credible regulatory mechanism that can conduct long-term tests and ensure bio-safety concerns can be addressed.
THE All India Agricultural Workers Union General Council which met at Nalgonda from September 20-22, 2016, called on its units to observe October 24 as a nationwide protest day against the mounting attacks and atrocities on dalits. The council deliberations observed that since the BJP government came into power the emboldened Hindutva Parivar mounted an unbridled attack on dalits and Muslim minorities. Over the last few years, there is an exponential rise in atrocities on dalits.