People's Democracy

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


No. 13

March 31, 2013






AIAWU State Conference Resolves for Expansion


Nityananda Swami


THE fifth Karnataka state conference of the All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU) concluded with a resolve to give priority to quick expansion of the organisation to at least 75 taluks in 25 districts and to conduct militant struggles on the demands of agricultural workers in the next three years. The conference, was held at Gangavathi in Koppala district of Karnataka, in this birth centenary year of Comrade P Sundarayya, a legendary leader of the great  Telangana  peasant  armed  struggle  who was  also  the  founder of  the  first agricultural workers’ union in the country.


The AIAWU conference was attended by 241 delegates from 14 districts. Out of them, 77 were women.




The conference commenced with a mass rally and a public meeting on February 7, 2013. A Vijayaraghavan, general secretary of the AIAWU, inaugurated the open session, saying that the UPA government at the centre was, by projecting Rahul Gandhi as the next prime minister, trying to make people forget its record of corruption. He then asked the agricultural workers’ union to foil the design of the central government. The activists of the AIAWU must go from house to house and explain to the people the fraud involved in the direct cash transfer and other schemes. He also pointed out how there is no difference between the economic policies pursued by the Congress government at the centre and the BJP government in Karnataka. On the question of corruption, both the Congress and BJP governments have been competing with each other. 


AIAWU all-India president P Ramayya said the Left parties are the real alternative to the Congress and the BJP. First in Kerala and then in West Bengal and Tripura, it was the Left Front governments that enacted progressive land reforms and distributed surplus land among the landless tenants and dalits. He appealed to the exploited and dalit sections in Karnataka to support and strengthen the Left forces.


AIAWU state president Nityananda Swami presided over the meeting. Its state vice president G N Nagaraj and AIKS state president Maruthi Manpade also spoke. K Hussainappa, general secretary of the reception committee, proposed the vote of thanks for the hundreds of agricultural workers who made the rally and public meeting a success. The cultural teams of Bagepally and local SFI presented revolutionary songs in Kannada and Telugu languages, leaving a impact on the people.




The conference commenced on the same evening, with flag hoisting by Nityananda Swami, followed by floral tributes at the martyrs column. A presidium consisting of G N Nagaraj, Bhimashetty Yampally, Rajiva Padukone, Sarojamma and Ameenabi was then elected to conduct the proceedings. On the condolence resolution moved, the conference observed two-minute silence to pay homage to the departed leaders and members.


Inaugurating the delegates session, Vijayaraghavan said the conference was being held at a time when attacks on agriculture are increasing. Since the onset the neo-liberal policies, the number of landless people has increased from 23 to 42 per cent.  Agricultural subsidies have been cut. Peasant suicides continue unabated.  The share of agriculture in production has come down from 32 to 16 per cent. The government is out hand the agriculture sector over to corporate houses.


After dwelling on the record of Left led governments in regard to agriculture and rural population since 1957, the speaker said in Kerala the AIAWU recently conducted another successful movement. In the state of Kerala, almost 90 per cent of rural households have land. The remaining landless workers are well organised. Thousands of them came to join the recent movement and the government and surplus lands were identified. One lakh volunteers enlisted to go to jail. The land occupation movement lasted for 17 days, but the Congress led UDF government did not have the courage to arrest anybody. Nor did it dare to evict those who had occupied the land. Rather the state government was forced to invite the leaders for discussion and to assure the grant of ownership of the land to the landless. The AIAWU has conducted similar militant struggles in Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu as well. The speaker then urged the conference to discuss the land issue in Karnataka and mobilise landless agricultural workers fo powerful land struggles.


Vijayaraghavan also narrated how it was the pressure of the Let parties that forced the UPA government to start the rural employment guarantee scheme and some other pro-people schemes. We have to mobilise the people for proper implementation of these schemes. The AIAWU must also take up issues concerning women agricultural workers and the increasing assaults on women. We should also mobilise agricultural workers to fight against increasing anti-dalit atrocities and against the practice of untouchability. All this requires that we strengthen our organisation, expand it to newer areas and form more and more village level committees.




AIAWU state general secretary Chandrappa Hoskera presented the draft report which explained the condition of agricultural workers in the state and the activities conducted by the union in the past four years. After discussing the report in district-wise groups, the delegates spent five hours time to express their views. A total of 47 delegates, including seven women, participated in the discussion, supporting the main thrust of the report. They also identified some of the issues for struggle, like proper implementation of the MGNREGA, wage increase, universalisation of public distribution system, housesites, regularisation of unauthorised cultivation by landless workers, caste discrimination and crimes against women.


On behalf of the state committee, Hoskera thanked the delegates for their valuable suggestions and frank criticism, and then inferred the tasks identified for the next three years. He said that, as suggested in the report, AIAWU membership in the state must cross three lakh mark, with at least 600 village units, in the coming three years.  The report was adopted unanimously.


As a part of the AIAWU state conference, one session was set apart to discuss the problems faced by women agricultural workers. Smt Savithri Muzumdar, editor of weekly Mahila Loka, inaugurated the convention while Smt Shivamma, president of the district Anganwadi Employees Union, was the chief guest. A presidium of five women agricultural workers conducted the proceedings of the convention where a charter of their demands was placed, discussed, and adopted. It would be submitted to the state government. The convention also adopted a resolution condemning the recent crimes against women. At the end, the convention constituted a state level sub-committee of women agricultural workers. 


State AIKS general secretary G C Bayyareddy, state CITU secretary R S Basavaraj, state DYFI president Bharathraj and state SFI president Ananth Naik greeted the conference.


At the end, the state conference elected a new state committee with 47 members, including five women. The newly elected state committee then met and elected 15 office bearers, with Nityananda Swami as president and general secretary, to be assisted by six vice presidents and seven assistant secretaries.


The conference came to an end with the concluding speech by AIAWU president P Ramayya.