People's Democracy

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


No. 01

January 05, 2014


CKC Resolves to Intensify Stir on Peasant Issues


THE Central Kisan Committee (CKC) of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) met at Kannur (Kerala) on December 28 and 29. This was the first meeting of the CKC after the 33rd all-India conference of the AIKS. About 50 members from different states attended the CKC meeting and discussed the serious issues faced by the peasantry. The CKC noted that the attacks on the peasantry are intensifying and, under the impact of the neo-liberal economic policies, peasants are increasingly finding agriculture to be unviable. Suicides are continuing unabated.


Among other things, the CKC resolved to expose the reactionary Trinamul Congress government in West Bengal under which a reign of terror has been unleashed and democratic rights are being denied. Farmers are being attacked and their hard won rights to land are being snatched. Over a hundred farmers have committed suicide due to the government’s failure to procure paddy. The CKC stood in solidarity with the hundreds of martyrs killed by the Trinamul-Maoist goons.


The Congress-led UPA government, with ample support from the BJP has passed an anti-peasant, anti-agricultural worker legislation on land acquisition which has been deceptively titled as the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013. The CKC said the Kisan Sabha stands opposed to the act in its present form and resolved that this legislation would have to be defeated and stalled from implementation on the ground through intense united struggles by the peasantry and other toiling masses.


The policies of the Congress-led UPA government which scrapped the earlier sugar policy and decontrolled the sector on the basis of the Rangarajan committee recommendations has led to an acute crisis for the sugarcane farmers. Cane prices are being fixed way below the cost of production. In addition to this, import tariff on sugar has been brought down to 15 percent, leading to the cheap import of sugar by traders and refineries. The deregulation of sugar and the import of 17 million tonnes of sugar by the sugar traders and refineries in the current financial year has led to a fall in sugar price from Rs 36 to Rs 26 in the domestic wholesale market. Arrears to the tune of Rs 10,500 crore are pending with the sugar mills that are refusing to pay the cane growers. This compelled two indebted farmers committing suicide in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. Instead of giving relief to farmers, the UPA government has decided to give a bailout package of Rs 7500 crore to the defaulting sugar mills as interest free loans to clear arrears although sugar mills are earning thousands of crores in profits. The CKC called for fixation of sugarcane price at not less than Rs 350 per quintal and demanded action against the defaulting mills.


The Indian government has been claiming that they have achieved a major victory at the Bali round of negotiations of the WTO on the issue of maintaining food subsidies and continuing with the procurement system. This claim is far from the truth and deliberately concealing the abject surrender before the diktats of the USA, EU and the developed countries. The ministerial decision will compromise India’s food security and farmer’s livelihoods. It constrains and infringes upon our sovereign right to provide price support to farmers as well as ensure food security for the hungry millions. India has only given a new lease of life to the failed WTO, which was becoming irrelevant after the Doha Round.


On the HLWG report on the Western Ghats, the CKC demanded a scientific assessment by a broadbased committee of social scientists, environmental experts, organisations of the peasantry and with adequate representation of the varied political opinions from the affected states. Broadbased consultations and public hearings with the people and all stakeholders must be held before arriving at a Comprehensive Plan for Protection of Fragile Ecosystems and Livelihoods. 


The CKC noted with concern the epidemic outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease which has led to death of thousands of cows and other livestock in the states of Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Kerala and other states and demanded adequate precautionary measures as well as adequate compensation for the affected people. A representation has also been made to the agriculture minister on this matter.


The CKC decided that the AIKS would strive to ensure that the wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) are not below the minimum wages fixed in a state and that the number of days of employment is increased to at least 200 days in a year.


The CKC condemned the central government’s efforts to implement the Prakash Bakshi committee recommendations on primary agricultural cooperatives was condemned. The CKC said the AIKS would launch united struggles if there are any further efforts to impose the recommendations which will destroy the cooperatives.


The CKC passed a resolution condemning the blatant attack on the Sikh farmers by the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat which is unjustly trying to uproot over 5000 families from the lands they have been cultivating since five decades.


The CKC demanded that the minimum support prices (MSP) of agricultural produce must be fixed in a way that is remunerative and the Swaminathan commission recommendation of C2+50 percent must at least be ensured with assured procurement.


The growing communalisation and divisive tactics of the RSS-BJP which are seeking to polarise the country with an eye on the forthcoming general elections was viewed with concern and the CKC decided to defeat their efforts by building peasants’ unity for communal harmony.


The CKC took the following significant decisions:

1) The Kisan Sabha will form a Sundarayya Memorial Trust and the Kisan Sabha’s central office building will be named after Comrade P Sundarayya, revolutionary leader of the toiling masses.

2) Struggles against arbitrary and undemocratic imposition of the HLWG recommendations on Western Ghats will be intensified and on January 31 people from the six affected states will have a protest in Delhi and hold a dharna at the parliament.

3) A two-day nationwide struggle on burning issues of the peasantry, with rallies and demonstrations, will be held on February 6 and 7, 2014.

4) Jointly with the trade unions, Anganwadi Workers’ Federation and other organisations, the Kisan Sabha will fight against government efforts to privatise the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS).

5) Kisan Sabha will intensify struggles against anti-peasant policies by building broadest possible unity and hold meetings with other kisan organisations.