People's Democracy

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


No. 05

February 04, 2008



Agricultural Development Will Be The Basis Of

The Struggle For Industrial Development


THE 22nd state conference of CPI(M) calls for the struggle of industrial development with emphasis on the development in agriculture. The resolution adopted by the conference on this clearly stated that for the sake of the cumulative development in the agriculture, it is important to reduce the population pressure on the agricultural sector. On the other hand, a sustained development in the industrial sector is essential to fight the unemployment. The resolution has been raised by Binod Das and seconded by Chandi Das.


The proposal also stressed the importance of taking new and practical initiatives for the development in agriculture, which has been increased in intensity in many folds now a days. Three major issues must be kept in mind in the agricultural development issues:


1. self sufficiency in food

2. reducing the cost of production, increasing the production and diversifying agriculture to make it more profitable

3.complete utilisation of the employment generating sectors and increase of income.


If the issues like importance of scientific approach in agriculture to raise the production, transformation of the infertile land into cropping land, increase in the density of cultivation, diversifying the cultivable crops by the market demand after maintaining the security of food, soil test, producing and using high quality seeds, scientific usage of chemical fertilizers, increasing the usage of organic fertilizers, controlled usage of underground water beside increasing the capacity of holding the surface water, preventing the usage of dangerous and harmful pesticides, animal resource development etc are considered with due importance, then more coordination in the cooperatives can help generating more employment in the agricultural sector.


Along with the development in the agricultural field, we must also remember that due to the effect of imposed liberalisation the agricultural sector is now in a grave situation. Liberalisation has crept firmly into all the sectors of agriculture and left profound impact on the social life in recent days. Since the subsidies are being withdrawn, the cost of production is rising. On the other hand, due to huge subsidies of the developed countries and the free import of the agrarian goods, the peasants are facing an unequal competition. Resultantly, the peasants are in a precarious state. From the note of the central ministry of agriculture, last year more than 1,34,000 thousand peasants have committed suicide. This nationwide effect of liberalisation devastation of the backbone of the agricultural sector has impacted our state also. Due to the policies like land reform, decentralisation of power, confirming the right of cultivation of the bargadars, expanding irrigation etc, taken by the Left Front government in last 30 years, there has been a massive development in the rural sector in West Bengal. The opposition forces are not being able to turn down this growth. But it is difficult to maintain this sustainable growth in agriculture in a state when the central government is implementing a devastating policy. Naturally, to survive in front of this dangerous situation, it is important to find out an alternative policy. In this situation it is important to evaluate the prospective development of agriculture. Peasant movement is part of the class struggle and it is necessary not only to sustain it in front of severe attacks of the liberalisation, it is also important to unite the entire peasantry for the sake of the peasant movement.


Around 7.81 per cent of the entire population of this country lives in this state. However, the fertile land in this state is even less than 3 per cent. It is a known fact that in all the developed countries, only 1.5 per cent to 5 per cent of the entire population depends on agriculture. Whereas, in our country 66 per cent of the population depends on agricultural sector. In our state the figure is 57 per cent. The entire world is emphasising on the balanced growth of industrial and agricultural sectors. In our state, the Left Front government is highlighting the economic growth on the basis of a coordination between agriculture and industry. Agriculture Commission has been set up in the state. It is important to look to this matter critically for maintaining the success achieved in agriculture in recent days, for reducing the population burden on agriculture, for generating employment and for an overall progress of the society.


It must be kept in mind that the struggle for industrialisation is the struggle against the pre-capitalist system. The land reform agenda taken by the LF government in the last 30 years is nothing but another step forward to capitalism. It will be a mistake to find socialism in it. Emphasising on industry in recent days is also capitalistic in character. The intermediate era between feudalism and socialism is capitalism. Therefore, in this socio-economic system, capitalism is one step forward to socialism. By countering the negative areas of capitalism and with a struggle to eliminate this system at the end, we must utilise the scope of industrialisation at this moment. Development in agriculture and industry by maintaining the self sufficiency of food actually indicates an overall development. The 22nd state conference of the Party is of this view.


Three years passed by after the last conference. Meanwhile, some major industrial proposals have come and some works are in progress. Land is required for the big industries as well as for the infrastructure. By avoiding the fertile land, as much as possible, the land is being used for industry. The percentage of fallow land is less than one per cent in this state. Thus, some fertile land may come into project land. Other states are in neck to neck competition for industrialisation, they are even easing taxes to solicit investment. Our state cannot standstill in this situation. However in this situation the government must take care of the required compensation, reestablishment, and alternative employment for the land losers like bargadars, pattadars, and land peasants. Similarly, Party must give caring effort to unite the peasants to move forward to industrialisation. Even if the agricultural development becomes more intense and modern, that will not be adequate for the employment generation for the rural population, especially for the young generation. The new industrial policy is only to generate more and more employment in both rural and the urban areas. Employment generation is the only goal of industrialisation.


Small and cottage industries play an important role in generating employment in our state. According to the last report of National Sample Survey, the total number of small and cottage scale organisations is now 2.7 million, generating employment for 5.9 million -- the highest among all the states. Investment of heavy industries in this aspect, too, has created new promises.


The opposition in our state played a conspiratorial role on the issue of taking land for industrialisation. Their main goals are to block the development of the state and weaken the peasant-worker unity achieved by long and sustained struggle. At first the objection was with respect to fertile land. But now they are objecting industrialisation in non-fertile land, too. All opposition parties took the path of creating violence and anarchy in order to block the industrial development. Ultra left forces have now united with the rightists on this issue. Communal colours are also used in this regard. A section of the so-called intellectuals has also played an anti-people role. And there is a large section of the media that took the role of political instigators in order to provoke this violence. But the positive factor is that amidst all efforts to negate the industrial development and convey a black image around the country, investment is increasing in the state. Democratic mass opinion in this state has helped to shatter the conspiracy of the opposition and go forward. Keeping in mind the importance of the present situation, the 22nd state conference calls upon all Party workers to engage in the struggle of widening industrial development, strengthening the worker-peasant unity and shattering the conspiracy of the opposition.