People's Democracy

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


No. 42

October 21, 2012


‘Agricultural Workers Must Join the

Struggle to Resist Neo-Liberal Offensive’


THE recent aggressive pursuit of neo-liberal economic policies by the UPA-II government will further aggravate the miserable living conditions of millions of agricultural labourers and other poorer sections in the country, felt All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU) general secretary and former MP, A Vijayaraghavan. He also charged the Manmohan Singh government of using CBI as a tool to continue in office despite losing parliamentary majority. He said the political situation in the country was changing at a fast pace and the Congress ministers themselves were hinting at early polls to their cadre.


Vijayaraghavan was addressing a meeting organised by APAWU in memory of Comrade R Kuppa Naidu in Hyderabad on October 11, 2012. Comrade Kuppa Naidu, who was state vice president of APAWU, passed away recently. He was an exceptional comrade who had left teaching option in university and chose to live and work among the agricultural labourers. He had a doctorate from Andhra University on the Naxalite issue.


Paying rich tributes to Kuppa Naidu, Vijayaraghavan said that every comrade should learn from him the selfless dedication to the cause of upliftment of the most downtrodden sections of our society, the agricultural labourers. He lambasted the Manmohan Singh government for its blatantly pro-corporate and pro-rich policies. It is cutting the already meagre subsidies to the poor in fuel, education and health sectors while at the same time doling out lakhs of crores of rupees to corporates in the name of tax incentives. He pointed out how India ranks at the lowest in terms of malnutrition, illiteracy, infant mortality rates etc among the developing countries. Today higher education and health treatment have become totally inaccessible to agricultural workers and other poor in the country.


Vijayaraghavan also said the number of working days for agricultural workers has come down drastically as agriculture is becoming increasingly unviable with rising input costs. He cited how fertiliser prices have increased 300 per cent while remunerative prices for crops are more or less stagnating. He charged the government of promoting corporate agriculture in the country to benefit the private sector. Even the alternative employment for agricultural labourers in the form of MGNREGA is being diluted with cuts in allocation of money. He called for waging of militant struggles and agitations on the day to day issues of agricultural workers to resist and beat back these anti-people policies.


CPI(M) central committee member and president of AIAWU Paturi Ramaiah and CC member Thammineni Veerabhadram also spoke in the meeting. APAWU secretary B Venkat and president Muralikrishna and former CPI(M) MLA Sunnam Rajaiah were present on the dais. Earlier, Vijayaraghavan garlanded the portrait of Comrade Kuppa Naidu and paid homage.