People's Democracy

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


No. 38

September 20, 2009



Kisan Sabha Holds Third State Conference


THE Uttarakhand unit of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) organised its third state conference at Rudrapur in Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar, a district that reminds one of a well known freedom fighter and martyr. The two-day conference on September 5 and 6 began with district Kisan Sabha president Trilochan Singh hoisting the organisation�s flag.

Udham Singh Nagar was earlier a part of Nainital district where the Kisan Sabha had held its first district conference at Chilkia near Ramnagar on June 11-12, 1953. Since then, this area has witnessed several powerful kisan struggles, including one for the release of plots of land from usurpers and their restoration to the Bengalis displaced in 1947, to whom these plots were allotted. This struggle in the Shakti Farms is continuing since 2006. As early as in March 1953, the area had witnessed a powerful struggle against the eviction of the peasants who were settled on the forest land; most of them were Raisingh. At that time, thousands of peasants were subjected to lathi charges, large scale arrests were made and cases foisted against the peasant leaders. Six peasant leaders were then sentenced to prison for two years each. One of them was Satya Prakash who is currently the state president of the CITU; he too was present at the recent AIKS district conference. The conference greeted and honoured him as well as another veteran of the kisan movement in the state.

A mass meeting in Gandhi Maidan on September 5 preceded the delegates session of the conference. Despite the scorching sun, a large number of the rural people attended the mass meeting that started with democratic folk songs presented by Mangal Singh. Addressing the meeting, AIKS joint secretary Lehambar Singh Taggad briefly described the history and struggles of the organisation since its formation in 1936, and also informed about the important issues that would be taken up at the 32nd all-India conference of the organisation at Guntur in Andhra Pradesh on January 7-10, 2010. He said Kisan Sabha is the biggest and most militant organisation of the Indian peasantry, with a membership of 2,36,32,584 and units even in several remotest parts of the country. As the Sikh peasants were present in the meeting in a large number, Taggad said with gladness that he was feeling as if he was in his own state of Punjab. Urging the Uttarakhand peasantry to form the Kisan Sabha�s units in each and every village, he expressed the hope that this conference would prove to be a milestone in the history of Kisan Sabha in the state.

AIKS national treasurer and a former member of parliament, Nurul Huda, detailed the anti-peasant policies of the BJP and Congress governments at the centre and in the state. He said these governments are basically concerned with foisting upon the people the policies the imperialist powers are framing through the IMF, World Bank and WTO. But these policies are increasingly ruining and pauperising the peasants. The incessantly rising cost of cultivation is forcing many of the peasants to give up agriculture, and a very large number of distressed peasants have committed suicide. That is why the peasants have to build up a powerful organisation and launch determined struggles to force the government to give up its anti-peasant policies. While several tribes like Tharus and Chauksas and people of several religions are there in Udham Singh Nagar, the district also has a significant population of the displaced Bengalis. So Nurul Huda spoke in Bengali as well. He recalled how the non-Bengali peasants of the whole state came forward to assist the Bengali settlers in the latter�s struggle for release of their lands in the Shakti Farms from the usurpers, adding that the poor toiling masses would have to understand the value of a broad-based unity of the entire peasantry.

AIKS joint secretary N K Shukla dwelt, among other things, on how the public distribution system has been almost totally dismantled in the entire country and how this state of affairs is enabling the indigenous and foreign bourgeoisie to exploit the masses, including the peasants, to the hilt. Also, our governments do not have any permanent solution to the floods, droughts and other disasters that affect the peasantry most. He warned that the ongoing policies are going to result into severe crises of food, water and other essentials of life.

State level leaders of the Kisan Sabha also addressed the mass meeting which the organisation�s state joint secretary Mahipal Singh Rawat conducted.

Including 9 women, 97 delegates from various districts attended the conference while 27 took part in the discussion on the state secretary�s report. The conference expressed its opinion, in the form of resolutions, on issues like employment guarantee, disastrous hydel projects, communalism, economic policies, remunerative crop prices, constitution of mandi committees on the Punjab-Haryana pattern, panchayati raj, safety from wild animals, and Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS).     

The conference unanimously adopted the report after discussion. It elected a state kisan council which, in turn, elected a 23 member state executive with 9 office bearers. Bachchi Ram Kaunswal and Gangadhar Nautiyal will lead the team as state president and state secretary respectively.

Mahendra Jhakhmola (CITU), Madan Mishra (DYFI), Indu Naudiyal (AIDWA), Shambhu Nadiyan (IILL) and Dilip Pandey (Vigyan Manch) greeted the conference on behalf of their respective organisations.