People's Democracy

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

Vol. XXX

No. 45

November 05, 2006

AIKS Jathas Flagged Off



UNDER the slogan of Save Peasantry, Save Agriculture and Save India, the AIKS launched its countrywide jathas programme by flagging off its southern jatha from Kanyakumari on October 31, 2006 at a function held at Gandhi Memorial Hall. Murugesan, district secretary of AIKS, Kanyakumari district presided over the inaugural function.


The southern jatha has been split into two jathas at the start itself as one would travel via Kerala and the other via Karnataka before converging in Hyderabad on November 12. 


T Mani, ex-MLA and Tamilnadu state committee member of CPI(M), inaugurated the jatha by waving the Red flag. C K Padmanaban, MLA and Kerala state secretary of AIKS, who leads the jatha going through Kerala state, K Balakrishnan, general secretary of Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, who leads the jatha going through Tamil Nadu, spoke in the inaugural function.


M Mohamad Ali, president of Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, M Baskaran, president, and K P Krishna Prasad, MLA and vice president, AIKS, Kerala, A V Bellarmin, MP, Sankaran, K Narayanan, Anthoni and hundreds of peasants participated in the jatha inauguration programme. 


In Tamil Nadu, the jatha is starting from Nagercoil on November 1, 2006. It will move through Aralvoimozhi, Valliyur, Nellai, Thalaiyuthu, Tuthukudi, Kayatar, Koilpatti, Virudhunagar, Sathur and Tiruthangal where public meetings will be held.


K Varadha Rajan, AIKS general secretary, explained the importance of the jathas in the present situation. “For the last few days, the political leaders of so many parties in India, have admitted that the life of peasantry has become worst and there is a big crisis facing Indian agriculture. The governments also accepted the same. Sonia Gandhi has also confessed that the peasants have become worst affected. The prime minister has said that farmers in many parts of the country are in crisis, and were not managing to eke out a decent living from their land. But no one has refused to think as to why such situation arised", said Varadha Rajan.


The government remained passive despite our farmers committing suicides in large numbers. So far, more than two lakh peasants have committed suicides, he said.


The UPA government has established a National Commission on Farmers under the chairmanship of Dr M S Swaminathan. The Commission has now submitted the Reports to the government of India, and in them has made a range of important recommendations to the government.


It is an illustration of the absence of political will that, instead of responding to the urgent need to mitigate the deep- rooted crisis in agriculture and distress of the peasantry unprecedented in independent India, the government of India decided to kill time by setting up another Committee on Agriculture in the National Development Council under the chairmanship of the union minister for agriculture, Sharad Pawar. Criticising this, the AIKS leader said it would be a futile and repetitive exercise. 


The important motive behind this jatha is to make the government change its policies in favour of the peasantry and to explain to the peasants that the only salvation to the crisis is not in committing suicides but to struggle to change the policies of the governments 


The demands released by AIKS while announcing this All India Jatha contain these pressing issues faced by the peasantry, explained K Varadha Rajan.