People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 14, 2007
IMPLEMENTATION OF NCF RECOMMENDATIONS
AIKS To Intensify Campaign
THE All India Kisan Council of the All India Kisan Sabha met on January 5-6, 2007 at Kolkata against the backdrop of continuing agricultural crisis due to wrong, anti-farmer policies adopted by successive central governments and all the non-Left led state governments, irrespective of whether they are led by Indian National Congress, BJP or different regional parties.
Out of a total of 137 AIKC members, 97 attended the council meeting, which was presided over by AIKS president S Ramachandran Pillai. The AIKC paid homage to the memory of Comrades Anil Biswas, Koratala Satyanarayana, Sheopat Singh, Mehboob Zahedi, T K Ramakrishnan, Jayant Bhattacharya, Farooque Azam and Mohar Singh, who passed away during the last one year since the AIKS conference held in Nashik, Maharashtra.
S Ramachandran Pillai in his presidential speech and K Varadha Rajan while placing the general secretary’s report stated that while the UPA government headed by prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh admitted the seriousness of the agricultural crisis, it failed to take specific measures to tackle the situation like increasing public investment on agriculture, halting the removal of quantitative restrictions on imports of agricultural produce etc. On the other hand, the central government is going ahead to handover Indian agri-business to MNCs and abandon the minimum support price mechanism. It is gradually withdrawing from procuring farmer’s produce under pressure of corporate houses and the MNCs. The government is pressurising the state governments to change their market laws to favour the MNCs and the big business. There is a move to bring foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail trade, which will be disastrous to producers, small retail traders and consumers. The government is proposing to bring a bill on forward trading to allow MNCs and big business to determine policies on price fixation and marketing. On the other hand, instead of procuring wheat from farmers at reasonable prices, the central government decided to import wheat from foreign countries at higher prices. All these measures of the central government are aggravating the grave crisis in agriculture, as a result of which the entire peasantry is hit hard, leading to pauperisation, starvation and suicides.
The UPA government has not done anything to implement the recommendations of the National Farmers Commission headed by the renowned agricultural expert Dr M S Swaminathan. If most of the major recommendations had been implemented, it would have gone a long way to tackle the present agricultural crisis and alleviate the acute sufferings of the peasantry.
The AIKC welcomed the passage of scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers bill 2006 which will undo the wrong effects of the Act passed by BJP-led NDA government to evict the tribals and other traditional forest dwellers. The AIKC asked all its state units to celebrate the passage of the Tribal Bill, which was possible due to continuous pressure and movements by the AIKS and Left parties and mass organisations.
The AIKC severely criticised the Indo-US agreement on agricultural education and research, which will facilitate the domination and exploitation of MNCs over Indian agriculture. The AIKC noted that due to the impact of neo-liberal policies followed by the UPA government and various state governments barring the three Left-led states, the process of reversing or diluting Land Reforms Act continues unabated as a result of which more and more farmers are becoming landless and agricultural crisis is getting accentuated.
The AIKC condemned the nefarious design of Trinamul-BJP and motley crowd of Naxalities, NGOs and certain social activists, who have been opposing acquisition of land in Singur, West Bengal, for establishment of a Tata car project. They indulged in violent activities to stop industrialisation of the state, in spite of the fact that the West Bengal Left Front government has paid adequate and most reasonable compensation to the landowners and sharecroppers and started training youth and women from the area for future employment.
The AIKC demanded the government to suitably amend the SEZ Act 2005 and its rules framed in 2006 so that the genuine concerns voiced by many organisations relating to large-scale acquisition of fertile lands, massive displacement, enormous loss of tax revenue and gross misuse for real estate purposes are addressed.
The AIKC reviewed the All India jatha programme held during October-November, 2006 in various states and welcomed the enthusiasm created among the peasantry in all the states and congratulated the people all over the country for the success of the huge rally at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi.
The All India Kisan Council decided to consolidate the gains of the All India jatha programme and planned struggles on concrete local issues. The AIKC also decided to organise struggles on basic issues, reach widest sections of the peasantry and strengthen the All India Kisan Sabha through enrolment of tens of lakhs of peasants in the coming three to four months.