People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 02

January 08, 2012




AIKS Hails Bengal Rural Strike


THE All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) has hailed the stoppage of all agricultural activities and total village bandhs in the state of West Bengal on January 4, called jointly by Paschim Bangal Pradeshik Krishaka Sabha and other Left led kisan organisations in the state. The action was intended to register protest against the anti-farmer and neo-liberal agrarian policies being pursued by the Trinamul Congress led coalition government under the chief minister  Mamata Banerjee, ever since they assumed  power in West Bengal in mid-May 2011.


In the statement issued from New Delhi on the day by its general secretary K Varadha Rajan, the AIKS noted that as a result of the disastrous policies of the coalition government, reactionary landlords have forcibly snatched away thousands of acres of land from the possession of poor and marginal farmers. A virtual reign of anarchy has been unleashed in the countryside; activists owing allegiance to the Left led kisan organisations have been physically assaulted and more than 50 killed during the last seven and a half months. Hundreds of injured have been hospitalised. Scores of Kisan Sabha offices have been captured by Trinamul hooligans. Nearly 40,000 kisan activists along with their families and supporters have been forced to leave hearth and home; a large number of false and fabricated cases have been foisted against the  Left kisan activists.             


On the other hand, the neo-liberal policies pursued by the UPA central government, have allowed the costs of agricultural inputs like seeds and fertilisers been allowed to rise to such as an extent that they have gone beyond the purchasing capacity of ordinary peasant cultivators. Of late, jute, paddy and potato cultivators of West Bengal have been facing acute distress because of low prices of their produce in the open market and refusal of the state government to take a stand in favour of the farmers. Media have reported peasant suicides which were unheard of in West Bengal.


In the circumstance, the AIKS has demanded that atrocities on the  kisan activists in West Bengal must be stopped forthwith and urged both the central and West Bengal government to pursue a policy that may render relief to the distressed and suffering peasantry.