OVER 300 participants including intellectuals, university professors, college students, scientists, bankers, lawyers, labour unions, women’s organizations, social activists, media-persons and others, deliberated on the continuing agrarian crisis over three days on March 01–03 at the national conference of the ‘Nation for Farmers Forum’ in the India International Centre, New Delhi. Very significantly, the audience in the India International Centre included large numbers of young people, several in their early twenties.
NEARLY a year after the first Kisan Long March from March 6 to 12, 2018, the AIKS Maharashtra state council held at Nashik on February 4, 2019, took the major decision of launching a second massive Kisan Long March in defence of the rights of the peasantry. This long march, which will begin from Nashik on February 20, the martyrdom anniversary of Comrade Govind Pansare, will culminate in Mumbai on February 27, the martyrdom anniversary of Chandrashekhar Azad. The state assembly’s budget session begins in Mumbai on February 25.
THE All India Kisan Sabha, in a statement issued on February 18, had pointed out that the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi was only aimed at creating an illusion of a farmer-friendly government while vast majority of the peasantry, especially landless and tenant farmers were excluded from the scheme and the amount per peasant was pittance.
A DELEGATION comprising Jitendra Chaudhary MP, K K Ragesh MP and other leaders of the AIKS met Suresh Prabhu, union minister for commerce and industry on February 10. He assured immediate intervention on the pressing issues of coffee growers in the country. The minister conveyed that a meeting of officers of coffee board, ministry officials and leaders of the small coffee growers sub committee affiliated to AIKS will be convened at the earliest.
THE massive mobilization and Rural Harthaal called by Kisan organisations in support of the 48 hours all India workers strike were successful in many parts of the country. The rural strike was successful in states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Tripura. In other states there were massive mobilizations and road and rail blockade. Transport was off the road in large rural tract across the country. AIKS, Bhumi Adhikar Andolan and AIKSCC have extended support to the workers strike.
OVER 5,000 peasants from 23 districts of Maharashtra participated in the statewide Farmers’ Rights Convention organised by the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) Maharashtra state council at the prestigious Yashwantrao Chavan Auditorium, a stone’s throw away from the state assembly and the state secretariat, in the heart of south Mumbai, on November 12, 2018.
THE All India Kisan Committee (AIKC) meeting was held at Rajapalayam, Virudhunagar in Tamil Nadu on July 18-20, 2018. Massive struggles have been planned by AIKS independently and jointly with CITU, AIAWU and with hundreds of kisan, social, class and mass organisations.
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP had generated high hopes and got the support of farmers in 2014 elections by promising the implementation of the Swaminathan commission recommendation of fixing MSP according to the formula C2+50 percent. It has betrayed them yet again by announcing MSP for the Kharif crops based on A2+FL costs instead of the promised more comprehensive C2 costs. Also no steps have been taken to ensure assured procurement. Without assured procurement any such announcement is only notional and will not accrue to the cultivating peasantry.
THE All India Kisan Sabha, in a statement issued on July 10, has noted that the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (OECD-ICRIER) Report on the farm situation vindicates its position that the neoliberal economic policies have adversely affected the peasantry and accentuated the agrarian crisis in the country. The report has rightly diagnosed that farming in India has been unremunerative for two decades. According to the report the gross farm revenues fell 14 percent on average between 2000 and 2016.
THE central working committee of AIAWU met at Nasik (Maharashtra) on June 19-20. 32 comrades attended the meeting from Kerala, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. The general secretary’s report had noted that the all-round attack on the rural cash economy, the hard hit farming sector, unemployment and the loss of jobs in agriculture, in construction as well as in small-scale rural businesses, is hurting the mass of the rural people and driving them to ruin and starvation.