Tuesday, July 23, 2019


On July 23, a massive 25,000-strong rally and public meeting was held by the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and the Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch (AARM) at the SDO office at Kalwan in Nashik district of Maharashtra.
The huge meeting primarily denounced the BJP-led central and state governments for their heinous attacks on the rights of Adivasis. This was a part of the national protest call given by the AIKS, AARM, Bhoomi Adhikar Andolan and other Adivasi organisations.
It also took up burning local issues of the people like water, ration, pension, health and employment. Until these local demands are conceded, it was decided to continue the massive gherao of the SDO office.
Among the main leaders who addressed the public meeting were CPI(M) politbureau member and AARM vice president Brinda Karat, ex-MP, CPI(M) central committee member and AIKS President Dr Ashok Dhawale, CPI(M) central committee member and former AIKS state president J P Gavit, MLA and many others.


On July 22, as per the nationwide call of the AIKS, AIAWU, AARM and other Adivasi organisations, a large protest demonstration was held at the SDO office at Dahanu in the Palghar district of Maharashtra.
The demonstrators denounced the move of the BJP central government to bring draconian, anti-Adivasi and pro-corporate changes in the Indian Forests Act, 1927 and they also vowed to oppose those who had challenged the Forest Rights Act, 2006, in the Supreme Court.
The Dahanu demonstration was led by Radka Kalangda, Edward Vartha, Vinod Nikole, Lahani Dauda, Ramdas Sutar and other leaders of the AIKS, CITU, AIDWA, DYFI and AARM.
On July 23, a massive districtwide rally will be organised by the CPI(M) and the AIKS at Kalwan in Nashik district on the same issues. It will be addressed by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat, AIKS national president Dr Ashok Dhawale, AIKS former state president and seven-term sitting MLA J P Gavit and other leaders. 

Monday, June 3, 2019


At the state-wide call of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) Maharashtra State Council, thousands of peasants came on to the streets in several districts on June 1, just two days after the newly elected BJP regime at the Centre took office. The state-wide protests flayed the State Government of the BJP-Shiv Sena for its betrayal of promises given to farmers on issues of drought relief, loan waiver, fair prices, land rights, ration, pension and other local issues. June 1 marked the second anniversary of the historic 11-day state-wide farmers strike in Maharashtra that began on June 1, 2017. 

The largest mobilisation of 10,000 peasants was in 8 tehsils of Thane-Palghar districts, followed by impressive rallies at Akole in Ahmednagar district, Kinwat in Nanded district, Solapur and several other centres in the state. Demonstrations and dharnas took place in all the 8 districts of Marathwada region, which is the worst affected by drought. Memorandums were given to govt officials, who were forced to concede several local demands.

१ जूनला ठाणे-पालघर जिल्ह्यांतील ८ तालुका मोर्चात १० हजार लोकांचा सहभाग

महाराष्ट्रातील ऐतिहासिक शेतकरी संपाच्या दुसऱ्या वर्धापनदिनी
जून रोजी ठाणे-पालघर जिल्ह्यात माकप, किसान सभा,
जमसं, डीवायएफआय यांच्यातर्फे जव्हार, मोखाडा, विक्रमगड,
डहाणू, तलासरी, वाडा, शहापूर आणि पालघर या तालुका केंद्रांवर
एकाच दिवशी मोर्चे झाले. लग्नसराई, प्रचंड उष्मा आणि पावसाळ्यापूर्वीची
शेतीची कामे या सर्वांवर मात करून ह्या सर्व मोर्चात एकूण १०,००० लोक
त्वेषाने सहभागी झाले. वनाधिकार, दुष्काळ, पाणी, रेशन, रोजगार, पेन्शन
यासाठी आणि बुलेट ट्रेन, एक्सप्रेस हायवे याविरुद्ध त्यांनी तहसील/प्रांत
कार्यालये दणाणून सोडली. भाजपच्या केंद्रातील पुनरनिर्वाचित मोदी सरकारवर
दोन्ही जिल्ह्यांत झालेला हा पहिलाच हल्ला बोल होता.
तसेच भाजप-शिवसेनेच्या जनविरोधी आणि दगाबाज राज्य सरकारविरुद्धही
लाल बावट्याच्या या मोर्चानी रणशिंग फुंकले

                      Shahapur, Dist. Thane

                   Dahanu, Dist. Palghar

                           Kinwat, Dist. Nanded

                           Solapur, Dist. Solapur

                             Akole, Dist. Ahmednagar 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019


Ashok Dhawale 

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.

This Long March is expected to be double in size compared to the one held last year. While the last Long March began with around 25,000 peasants, this time the number at the starting point is expected to cross 50,000. Along with the lion’s share of farmers from Nashik district, this time there will be a huge contingent from Thane-Palghar district, followed by Ahmednagar district. Several other districts in Marathwada, Vidarbha, Western Maharashtra, Northern Maharashtra and Konkan regions will also be well represented.


The AIKS has planned this march to condemn the BJP-led state and central governments for the utter betrayal of their own assurances given to farmers and agricultural workers. This betrayal has further intensified the grave agrarian crisis. This march is, therefore,  being held with three major objectives in mind.

The first objective is to take the BJP-led state government to task for its poor implementation of the demands that it had conceded in writing last year. At the insistence of the AIKS, the chief minister had also placed the written agreement with the Kisan Sabha on the floor of both houses of the legislature the very next day on March 13. In spite of giving a commitment to that effect and in spite of the repeated reminders by the AIKS, the state government did not hold even a single review meeting during the whole of last year with the AIKS to take stock of the implementation of the demands that had been conceded. Thus, issues like the implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA), extension of loan waiver (only Rs 17,700 crore out of the package of Rs 34,000 crore that it was forced to announce after the 11-day Farmers’ Strike in Maharashtra in June 2017 has been disbursed), remunerative prices, increase in pensions and other demands are still not implemented.   

The second objective is to focus on the grim drought that has severely affected half of Maharashtra this year. The response of the state government to the plight of the people hit by drought has been scandalous. The eight districts of Marathwada region are the epicentre of this drought, although large parts of Vidarbha and other regions are also affected. The AIKS in its demands charter has highlighted two types of demands – those for immediate drought relief like drinking water, food, employment under MNREGA, fodder for cattle, compensation to farmers for their crop loss, a comprehensive crop insurance scheme to help farmers and not corporate insurance companies, and those of a long term nature concerning completion on a war footing of incomplete irrigation projects and diverting the massive water of west-flowing rivers that empty into the Arabian Sea by various methods to the chronically drought-prone areas of Maharashtra.

The third objective is to denounce the Narendra Modi-led BJP central government for its callous and ‘jumlebaj’ attitude to farmers and agricultural workers. The BJP regime has betrayed both the commitments made by its prime minister in over 400 election meetings in 2014, of giving a complete loan waiver and of implementing the recommendation of the Swaminathan Commission of declaring MSP at one and a half times the entire cost of production (C2 plus 50 per cent). While denying loan waiver to the peasantry, it has had no qualms about granting loan waivers of lakhs of crores to its crony corporates. And in its last budget, by promising crumbs of Rs 6000 per year (which works out to a pittance Rs 3.33 per head per day) in three instalments of Rs 2000 each to farmers with less than five acres of land, it has added insult to injury and has rubbed salt into their wounds. Millions of landless agricultural workers, tenant farmers, Adivasi farmers who have still not been given land under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) and dryland farmers who often have more than five acres of land, will be denied even this pittance offered by the Modi regime. The BJP government’s undermining of MNREGA, the lifeline for agricultural workers, is only too well known. Its forcible land acquisition policies have been and are being resisted by the peasantry.


Intensive and extensive preparations have been launched by the AIKS in the state to make a resounding success of this Long March. On February 4, a large AIKS Nashik district convention was held along with a press conference. Both were addressed by AIKS president Dr Ashok Dhawale, former AIKS state president J P Gavit, MLA, state president Kisan Gujar, state general secretary Dr Ajit Nawale, state joint secretary Sunil Malusare and CITU state president Dr D L Karad.  On February 6, a large 1500-strong Thane-Palghar district convention was held in Talasari that was addressed by Dr Ashok Dhawale, J P Gavit, MLA, Kisan Gujar, Sunil Malusare, AIDWA general secretary Mariam Dhawale, AIKS state vice presidents Barkya Mangat and Ratan Budhar and veteran AIKS leaders L B Dhangar and Lahanu Kom, ex-MP and ex-MLA. On February 11, an Ahmednagar district convention was held in Akole and it was addressed by Dr Ajit Nawale, Sadashiv Sable and Namdev Bhangre. Similar preparations were made in several other districts.

The CPI(M) Maharashtra state committee, the CITU Maharashtra state committee and the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) have committed to give funds for the organisation of the Kisan Long March. Leaders and activists of all other mass fronts – CITU, AIAWU, AIDWA, DYFI and SFI – will also take part in the march.

ATTEMPT AT REPRESSION                 

In order to stop the AIKS-led second Kisan Long March in Maharashtra against the betrayal of farmers by the BJP's central and state governments, the government has taken recourse to repression. In Ahmednagar, a large farmers' convention was held on February 13 to prepare for the Long March and a memorandum was submitted to the district collector. Nowhere was there any breach of peace. All necessary police permissions were taken. 

But just for organising this convention, police cases have been lodged against AIKS state general secretary Dr Ajit Nawale and concerted attempts to arrest him for the last few days have been foiled. Threats are being given to local activists in many places by the police to prevent them from taking part in the march. News has just come in that the police are trying to prevent farmers from Thane-Palghar district who are coming in large numbers in vehicles from coming to Nashik. It is crystal clear who is behind all these steps.

The AIKS at the national level has condemned this act of the government as an attempt to crush a democratic and peaceful satyagraha struggle. The AIKS has warned that such repressive attempts of the government will not succeed in stopping the Long March. The government must realise that farmers' issues can be solved only by accepting their just demands and by implementing them. 


During last year’s Long March, there was no official response from the state government until the second last day, when the march entered Mumbai, and tremendous public pressure was built up in support of the march. This time around, the government was naturally nervous and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis invited an AIKS delegation to meet him well in advance. Two meetings were held by the chief minister with the AIKS delegation – the first preliminary one on February 11 and the second full meeting on February 17 in which other concerned ministers and officials were also present. However, the talks were inconclusive and the AIKS made public its determination to go ahead with the Long March.
The march begins today evening from Nashik. AIKS general secretary Hannan Mollah will be in Nashik on the first day to lead it. It remains to be seen what the government does.   

But one thing is clear. Farmers in Maharashtra will not rest until the major issues that are being taken up in this second Long March are resolved.

(February 20 morning)

Second Kisan Long March from Nashik to Mumbai starts on 20th Feb. 2019

Second Kisan Long March from Nashik to Mumbai, 20-27 February 2019