People's Democracy

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


No. 37

September 13, 2009



AIKS State Conference Prepares Against Agrarian Crisis


                                                                                               Rahul Sinha


AS the country faces an unprecedented agrarian crisis, coupled with a severe drought situation making life miserable for the peasantry and the common people, the 18th state conference of the Tripura state unit of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) has called for an intense struggle to overcome this crisis.


The conference was held from August 28 to 30 at Udaypur, headquarters of the South Tripura district. The  venue of the conference, the Town Hall, was rechristened as Comrade. Harkishan Singh Surjeet Nagar, and the stage as Comrade Dinesh Debbarma Manch. The delegates session of the conference was preceded by the flag hoisting ceremony and a huge mass rally at the Udaypur College ground


AIKS president S R Pillai hoisted the flag, following which the delegates and others paid floral tributes at the martyrs column.




Presided over by AIKS state president Niranjan Debbarma, the open rally was addressed by S R Pillai, chief minister Manik Sarkar, AIKS vice president Benoy Konar and AIKS state secretary Narayan Kar.


In his speech, Pillai said the conference was taking place in the backdrop of an unprecedented crisis in the agrarian sector. The farmers are committing suicide; poverty and unemployment are increasing in the rural areas. Agriculture has become an unprofitable venture. The cost of production is increasing while the prices of the crops are unsure and dwindling. The peasantry is in the grip of a crisis and the policies of the bourgeois landlord governments at the centre are responsible for this crisis which the ongoing global recession has further deepened. The imperialist countries will try to pass on the burden of this crisis on to the poor and developing countries, particularly their agrarian sector. About the severe drought, Pillai said already 252 districts have been declared drought affected and food production is expected to go down by 20 per cent. But the UPA government is following the same neo-liberal policies economy. It has signed with the ASEAN a free trade agreement which will open up the Indian market for the cheaper agricultural products like tea, coffee, spices, coconut, rubber etc from the ASEAN countries. This shall result in a further fall in the prices of these products, putting the Indian farmers in distress. Pillai said we had asked the government to bring out a white paper on what we have gained by joining the WTO. But they did not pay heed to our demands and went on to organise a meeting of the G 20 countries in New Delhi. Pillai said the only way to overcome the agrarian crisis is to increase public spending on agriculture. For this we shall have to brace for severe struggles, he said.


Manik Sarkar said even after 62 years of independence the plight of the peasants in our country is miserable. If India has to move forward to a bright future, the problems of the peasantry must be solved. He said many cultivators are still deprived of the right to land except in the three Left ruled states where thorough land reforms have been implemented. He stressed that peasants must have the facility of assured irrigation, cheap loans and timely supply of quality seeds and fertilisers. As the central governments run by the Congress is busy safeguarding the interests of the bourgeoisie, landlords, black marketers and hoarders, the only way to change the situation is to fight against it and instal a farmer friendly government at the centre. Sarker also narrated the successes of the Left Front government in expanding the irrigation facilities and attaining self-sufficiency in food production in Tripura.


Benoy Konar said the left has no doubt suffered a setback but we shall surely move forward. The concerted attack by the reactionary forces will not be able to lower our morale, he said confidently.




Veteran communist leader Baidyanath Majumdar inaugurated the delegates session. Dealing in detail with the international and national scenario, Majumdar said at present the balance of forces is no doubt tilted in favour of the imperialist powers. In the last Lok Sabha polls the Left suffered a setback. But the people of Tripura have again reaffirmed their faith in the Left Front. This is because the government and the local bodies run by us have proved to be pro-people and committed to the people�s cause. He stressed on winning over more and more people in this struggle against the anti-people policies of the centre.


The same evening, Narayan Kar presented the draft political organisational report on behalf of the state executive committee.


Addressing the delegates session on the second day of the conference, AIKS vice president Benoy Konar said the relation between the Left Front governments and the masses is not a give and take relation but rather a relation which exists among close relatives. Thus every developmental programme has to be implemented by taking the people into confidence. If we deviate from this, a political bureaucracy will crop up which would be far more dangerous than the administrative bureaucracy. He briefed the conference in detail about the vicious plot of the monopoly capital and other vested interests to weaken the Left Front government in West Bengal. He said the LF governments have to address the people�s grievances, but the limitations of the state governments must also be explained to them. It is the duty of the AIKS to make the farmers aware that their real enemy are the central governments who are following the neo-liberal economic policies. They must be made aware of the fact that fertiliser factories are set up by the centre. The states, with all its sincere wishes, can�t assure fertilisers at a cheaper cost if the centre does not take a positive step in this direction. For this, the AIKS must forge a close proximity with the peasantry. It must make them politically conscious.


S R Pillai said the policies followed by the bourgeois landlord governments are responsible for the plight of the peasantry. Now the situation is such that the proportion of landless labourers increased from 22 to 32 per cent of the population in the first 10 years of LPG. About 48.6 per cent of the farmers are indebted and 50 per cent want to quit farming. He said the second UPA is following the same discredited path of neo-liberalism. The PM has called for a second green revolution, but it is aimed at promoting corporate farming. Pillai said with the development of capitalistic mode of development, the class relations and the production relations are also changing. It is the task of the AIKS to assess these changes, identify the problems of the farmers and on that basis build up a broad unity of agricultural workers, small peasants, middle peasants and a part of the big peasants, of course keeping at centre the interests of the poorer sections.


Assam AIKS president Nizamuddin Khan and Tripura Khet Mazoor Union secretary Babul Bhadra also addressed the delegates.


Addressing the conference, Manik Sarkar detailed the programmes implemented by the Left Front government in Tripura. He said only 2.5 to 3 per cent of the cultivable land in the state were under irrigation in 1978; it rose to 13 per cent in 1998 when the perspective plan for self-sufficiency in food was planned and by now over 88 per cent of the cultivable land has been brought under irrigation. Now the state government has embarked upon a three-year plan to cover the rest 10 to 12 per cent; whereafter plans will be taken up for upland irrigation. We want to erase the word �wasteland� from the state�s dictionary, he said, adding that the state shall procure 50 per cent of the fertiliser required. Sarkar said the state is now self-sufficient in certified paddy seed production, and steps are being taken to produce quality oilseeds and pulse seeds in future. Marketing facilities are developing in the growth centres of the interior and tribal areas. Fish production is on the increase.


Sarkar also informed that the prime minister had asked him for an action taken report on the implementation of the forest rights act. During the formulation of the rules of the act, INPT had opposed the proposal of giving land rights to the non-tribals, but the GMP fought for the rights of the non-tribals. More than 78,000 families have been given land right in the state so far. We have asked the centre to make necessary amendments in the law to give land rights to the traditional non-tribal forest dwellers. But now the centre is silent. So Sarkar called for an intense and unified struggle for the cause.




A total of 44 delegates, including three women, participated in the discussion on the draft report. They highlighted the problems facing the peasants due to non-supervision by a section of the government officers. They stressed on further expansion of irrigation facilities and demanded that 50 per cent of the fertilisers required should be supplied by the government. They also stressed the need to speed up developmental activities in the ADC areas and asked for giving forest rights to the non-tribal forest dwellers too. For this, unified struggle to press for suitable changes in the central law was suggested.


The delegates also pointed out that the AIKS can�t move forward without sticking to its ideological roots base and a class outlook. It has to take a lead in winning over the large number of poor people who are still outside the organisation. With an increase in membership, the organisation has to make the members politically conscious. Hatred against the class enemies has to be sharpened. They were confident that the assault the people of West Bengal are facing is severe but they would definitely overcome it. In Tripura too, we have to prepare ourselves to face similar attacks and, for that, we have to build a politically conscious and firm mass based organisation. They stressed on keeping a strict vigil on proper and transparent implementation of developmental works in close contact with the masses and on organising movements for timely and proper delivery of the programmes announced by the government.


Narayan Kar replied to the discussion.


A total of 531 delegates belonging to the AIKS and GMP from 18 divisions of the state participated in the conference. The latter elected a new state council with 112 members and a 33 member new state executive committee. Bajuban Reang and Narayan Kar were elected the new president and secretary of the state council.