AIKMS Conference Concluded Called for Intensifying Struggles for Peasants Nationwide

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The third All India Conference of AIKMS concluded with a call to intensify peasants’ struggle nationwide. It condemned the government for its ennui and apathy towards peasants and tenant peasants and held the state machinery responsible for large number of farmers’ suicides. Here’s a report.

The Third All India Conference of All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha (AIKMS) concluded on April 4, with the call to launch struggle on the immediate issues of peasants including sharecroppers/tenant peasants and agricultural labourers. The conference was attended by 625 delegates representing over 3 lakh members, spread over 11 states. The conference elected a new Central Executive body of 25 members with Com. Vemulapalli Venkataramaiah, renowned peasant leader from Telengana as president and Dr. Ashish Mital from UP as general secretary. The conference passed a number of resolutions.

India AgricultureIt expressed grave concern at the deteriorating conditions of peasants, share-croppers and agricultural labourers and held government policies responsible for the same. Share of agriculture in the gross domestic product (GDP) is falling, while majority of the people remain dependent on it. The terms of trade are adverse to the agriculture and the condition is further deteriorating. The cost of inputs is rising, while agricultural produce is not being given remunerative prices. Crop damage due to inadequate measures taken by the government to address the natural causes like insufficient rains and floods and due to spurious seeds, fertilisers and pesticides supplied by the greedy companies, which are being protected  by the ruling politicians are leading to increase in suicides of peasants.

Even suicides by agricultural labourers have been reported. The conference demanded that crop damage should be fully compensated by the government. It condemned the artificial limits set on compensation or eligibility and demanded that all crop damages due to any of the above causes should be compensated in totality.

Conference demanded that government should give Rs. 10 lakhs to the family of every peasant, who has been led to commit suicide. Further, the government should waive off all loans to peasants, including tenant peasants and agricultural workers. It demanded that institutional credit should be made available to all the peasants including sharecroppers and agricultural labourers so that they are not forced into the grip of private moneylenders, and the resultant debt trap, which is one of the main causes of suicides.

The third All India Conference also demanded that share-croppers/tenant peasants should be immediately and fully recorded all over India so that they can get access to institutional credit, compensation due to crop damage and sale of produce to government agencies. The conference also noted with concern that the government has abandoned land reforms and called for intensification of the agitation for distribution of land to landless and poor peasants.

It noted the abysmal conditions of agricultural labour, their inability to get adequate employment, even not getting employment guaranteed under MGNREGS, not getting minimum wages and the payment under the government scheme is delayed as well. The conference demanded that full employment be provided to agricultural labourers. It also demanded immediate enactment of a comprehensive legislation guaranteeing the rights of agricultural labourers.

Condemning the repression launched by the government on the struggles of peasants and agricultural labourers, the conference noted that the government is adopting policies, which are against the interest of peasants and are in the interest of corporate. The conference also condemned the suppression of peasants to dispossess them from their land and means of livelihood. It hailed and supported the struggle of peasants against forcible displacement. The conference condemned ‘Operation Greenhunt’ launched in central India and demanded that it be stopped. It also condemned the repression on movements against power plant in Karchana and against Kanhar dam in Sonebhadra district and expressed solidarity with struggling people in these places and elsewhere.

The All India Conference condemned that fascist drive by the communal forces led by RSS, who are ruling in the country for their attacks against the minorities, oppressed castes and other toiling sections. It condemned repression on the students in Hyderabad Central University, JNU and other premier educational institutions and expressed solidarity with forces struggling against them. The conference resolved to intensify struggle against the fascist drive of the Modi-led government and decided to cooperate with other forces in this struggle.

It called for a propaganda campaign over three months on the demands listed in the call approved by the Conference and in the resolutions approved. The conference also decided to launch a countrywide struggle on these issues after that period.

The third All India Conference concluded with great enthusiasm among the delegates. It concluded with singing of Internaionale.

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