Sunday, November 26, 2017


Thousands of Kisans Hold Novel Kisan Sansad in Delhi
Bills Placed Demanding Liberation From All Farm Debt and
Crop Prices 50 percent above Cost of Production

Two-Month Campaign, Intensification of Struggle and Nation-wide Protest Action Planned

Hannan Mollah

In a historic protest action thousands of farmers representing more than 184 organisations came to Delhi for the Kisan Sansad/Kisan Parliament held on November 20 and 21, 2017. On November 20 they marched in a colourful procession from the Ramlila Maidan with tens of thousands holding red flags and banners with an accompaniment of green, blue, yellow and pink flags winding their way to the Parliament Street. The most distinguishing feature of this Rally and Kisan Sansad was its truly pan-Indian character, and almost every state in the country was well-represented.   

The enthusiastic March was led among others by AIKS President Dr Ashok Dhawale, AIKS Vice President Amra Ram, Joint Secretaries Vijoo Krishnan, K K Raghesh, Badal Saroj and Finance Secretary P Krishnaprasad and leaders of State Kisan Sabhas along with V M Singh, Convenor, AIKSCC, Yogendra Yadav and Avik Saha, Jai Kisan Andolan, Rajaram Singh, General Secretary, AIKMS, Prem Singh and Kartik Rai, AIKMS, Ashish Mittal and Chandrashekhar, AIKKMS, Raju Shetty, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana and others. Since morning, thousands of farmers started marching with flags and sloganeering also from Ambedkar Bhavan, Gurudwara Rakabganj and different railway stations to reach the Kisan Mukti Sansad at Parliament Street. The contingent of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) in this Rally and Kisan Sansad was the largest, but many other Kisan organisations had also mobilised in strength.

On 20th November, the Kisan Mukti Sansad started after completing Kisan Mukti Yatra of more than 10 thousand kilometers by All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee in 19 States. The Sansad started with tributes to the farmers martyred in Mandsaur and other police firings, to farmers who committed suicide, and to farmers of Yavatmal, who died due to pesticide poisoning.

A special feature of this programme was the Mahila Kisan Sansad with 543 women representatives. Medha Patkar was the Speaker. Kavitha Kurganthi introduced the objectives of the Mahila Kisan Sansad. It discussed the grim situation of farmers, and especially women farmers, in the country. There were several widows, mothers, sisters and daughters of farmers who had been forced to commit suicide due to indebtedness. Some of them spoke about their plight, but at the same time they courageously declared their resolve to combat the disastrous policies of the government that had led to the suicide of their husbands. Women activists from all over the country also spoke. They included Sudha Sudararaman and Annie Raja. The Mahila Kisan Sansad gave its consent to table two crucial Bills before the Kisan Sansad that followed.

Hannan Mollah, AIKS General Secretary and ex-MP, presented the ‘Farmers’ Freedom from Debt Bill, 2017’ and Raju Shetty, MP presented the ‘Farmers’ Right To Assured Remunerative Prices for Agricultural Produce Bill, 2017’. The Bills will be discussed at every State level with a Drafting Committee visiting States and will be tabled in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha after incorporating necessary amendments. After getting the amendments from across the country, both these Bills will be finalised by two standing committees of the Kisan Sansad headed by Hannan Mollah and Raju Shetty.

The Kisan Sansad also felicitated the AIKS Vice President Amra Ram, ex-MLA for the historic victory of the Kisan Sabha struggle in Rajasthan as well as Raju Shetty, MP for quitting the NDA and coming out against the Narendra Modi-led BJP Government’s betrayal of promises made to farmers.

Hannan Mollah while placing the Bill, said that the BJP Government and traders have looted the farmers by paying them less continuously and forced them into debt. This in turn caused the suicide of more than 4 lakh farmers in the country. Farmers have united to fight the exploitation now and will not allow the Government or traders to loot the farmers any more. He also said that farmers’ organisations from all over the country have consistently demanded loan waiver but it is unique that now they are also presenting Bills for the Parliament to discuss and approve. Comprehensive legislation to ensure freedom from debt cycle for farmers as well as assured remunerative prices will have to be passed by the Parliament, he said.  The nationwide united farmers’ struggle for these demands will continue relentlessly.

Dr Ashok Dhawale, AIKS President attacked the Narendra Modi-led BJP Government for betraying farmers and called it the most anti-farmer Government in independent India. He condemned the BJP regime for giving loan waivers of lakhs of crores of rupees to a handful of corporates, while denying it to crores of farmers in distress. He also said that neither the Congress nor the BJP governments at the centre had implemented the recommendation of MSP at one and a half times the cost of production, made by the National Commission of Farmers that was headed by Dr M S Swaminathan. Narendra Modi and the BJP had, in fact, betrayed their election promise to do so. He said that the fighting unity of the farmers will defeat both the repressive tactics of the anti-people Government and its diabolical conspiracy to divide the people on communal lines.

Amra Ram, Vice President, AIKS and Dr Ajit Nawale, General Secretary, Maharashtra Rajya Kisan Sabha drew attention to the victory of the peasant struggles in Rajasthan and Maharashtra respectively and expressed confidence that this historic movement will also emerge victorious.
V M Singh, Yogendra Yadav, Atul Anjaan, Medha Patkar, Sunilam, Pratibha Shinde, Rajaram Singh, Kodihalli Chandrashekhar, Ashish Mittal, Satyawan, Avik Saha, Kiran Bassa and many other Kisan leaders and activists also addressed the Kisan Sansad. Leaders of different class and mass organisations were also present in solidarity. The insensitive BJP Government, the Prime Minister and the Agriculture Minister refused to meet a delegation of the AIKSCC.

The Kisan Sansad also decided to have a two month campaign from November 26, 2017 to January 26, 2018 on the two Bills and against the anti-farmer policies of the BJP Government. The first public hearing (Jansunwai) on the two Bills will be held in Gujarat in November-end. This campaign will be followed by intensified nation-wide action in a coordinated manner by bringing in more organisations and holding State level Conventions. Resistance will be organised unitedly at the local level to ensure that MSP is given to all crops and also to ensure that debt-ridden farmers are not harassed by the banks and private money-lenders. The farmers returned back with a firm resolve to fight against the insensitive BJP Government and carry on the struggle until victory. The Kisan Sansad concluded amidst great enthusiasm with the singing of the National Anthem.

Thursday, November 23, 2017


   Press Release issued in the Press Conference
   New Delhi, 18th November 2017

An AIKS delegation led by President Dr Ashok Dhawale visited Ghatmika village in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan yesterday, November 17, to meet the family members of Ummar Mohammed Khan, a poor dairy farmer and daily wage labourer who was murdered by Gaurakshaks in Alwar in Rajasthan on November 10, 2017.  The delegation also met the Alwar SP Rahul Prakash and Deputy SP Anil Beniwal, discussed the seriousness of the crime and stressed the need for stringent action against the culprits.

The AIKS delegation included President Dr Ashok Dhawale, Joint Secretary Vijoo Krishnan, Finance Secretary P Krishnaprasad, Rajasthan State Secretary Chhagan Choudhury, Vice President Gurcharan Singh Morh, Bharatpur District Secretary Nathilal Sharma, President Rambo Hawaldar and Imam Assamohammed of Bharatpur.

 According to the SP, the postmortem report has confirmed two bullet injuries as the cause of death of Ummar Khan. He also said two culprits have been arrested so far and search for five more suspects is going on. Steps to provide compensation to the victim are being considered. 

The delegation found the family very poor and under severe distress. They are living by selling milk and occasional daily wage from rural work. The entire village is backward and poverty ridden. The village has 450 houses in which around 400 are Muslim families. The village has around 1000 cows apart from buffalos and the main income is from dairying. The price of one liter milk is Rs. 20 only which is very low and the villagers are facing distress in general. There is no development in the region. Cow rearing is the major livelihood support to the village.      

The family members and the villagers said that there is no case registered against Ummar Khan thus challenging the claim made by the Alwar police in a written press statement. The SP claims that it was a case of cow smuggling since there is no tax receipt from the cattle market. Purchasing and selling cows is not legally banned in Rajasthan by any Act. When the villagers sell and purchase cows from other households there is no system of receipts. Without any complaint about cow theft from anybody, the fact that the Alwar police have registered a case of cow smuggling against the victim underlines the prejudiced mindset of the police and administration.

The family members have pointed out that the doctor on duty at Alwar Hospital had stated that the death was not due to firing since there was no bullet found in the X-ray. Then the family members and the villagers objected to conducting post mortem at Alwar and thus the police was forced to refer the body to Jaipur for post mortem. In Jaipur the post mortem confirmed death due to two bullet injuries. The murder happened at Gahankar village in Bharatpur district. The vehicle was found at Govindgarh and the body was found 15 km away on the railway tracks in Ramgarh. There was a conscious effort by the criminals to misguide the public that it was an accidental death, and the behaviour of the Alwar doctor is unconvincing.

AIKS has been consistently fighting the communal forces and the killer Gaurakshaks who are continuously committing crimes including mob lynching. So far more than 30 people have died in such attacks after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed power in 2014. In the Pehlu Khan case also the real culprits were left scot-free by the police and the Rajasthan Government and not a single paisa was given to the victim’s family as compensation. 

The Supreme Court had to intervene and direct the Central Government and State Governments to deploy nodal police officers at the district level to control the illegal activities of so called ‘Gaurakshaks’ and ensure adequate compensation to victims of such mob violence. However, the BJP-led State and Central Governments, rather than heeding the constitutional authorities, seem to work on orders from the RSS headquarters in Nagpur.

These chains of crimes divide the people on communal lines and if allowed to continue will divide the people and destroy the unity of the country in the long run. Hence all the secular and democratic forces must come forward to isolate the killer Gaurakshaks and the RSS-BJP that are patronizing these elements.

The AIKS demands from the Central Government and the State Government the following:
1.      Immediate arrest of all the culprits responsible for the murder of Ummar Khan.
2.      Rs. One crore as compensation to the victim’s family and Rs. 25 lakh to those injured.
3.      Institution of a judicial enquiry into the Ummar Khan murder case.
4.      The Government must ensure cattle trade and those Governments that ban slaughter must amend cow protection act to purchase unproductive animals paying market rate. 
5.      Ban unlawful organizations like Gaurakshaks with immediate effect.

The press conference held in New Delhi today was addressed by Hannan Mollah, Dr Ashok Dhawale, N K Shukla, Vijoo Krishnan and P Krishnaprasad on behalf of the AIKS. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


November 15, 2017

The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) condemns the police firing in the air and the brutal lathi charge on sugarcane farmers at Shevgaon in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra today.

Hundreds of sugarcane farmers were peacefully agitating for getting a price of Rs 3100 per tonne of sugarcane, when the attack by the police of the BJP-led state government took place. The farmers were severely lathi-charged and several rounds were fired in the air. At least seven farmers were badly injured in this attack.

The agitation by sugarcane farmers for remunerative price for their cane has been going on in several centres of Maharashtra for the last few weeks. The BJP-led state government was given enough time for negotiations to settle their demands. But it did nothing of the kind and instead, has let loose the police on the fighting peasants.

A delegation of the Maharashtra Rajya Kisan Sabha led by its General Secretary Dr Ajit Nawale will be visiting Shevgaon, the scene of the police attack, immediately.

The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) demands that: 1. The state government must give immediate and adequate compensation to all the farmers injured in the police attack and must meet all their medical expenses, 2. The state government must take immediate steps to ensure that remunerative price at one and a half times the cost of production be given to farmers growing sugarcane and all other crops.

  Hannan Mollah                                                   Dr Ashok Dhawale

General Secretary                                                 President


The Maharashtra State Workshop of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) was held at Comrade BTR Bhavan, Belapur, New Mumbai on November 3-4, 2017. It was attended by 122 leading activists from 21 districts. The workshop was made up of two parts.
One was a series of lectures on major topics. The second was a serious district-wise group discussion on planning of both the movement and the organisation for the coming one year on the basis of a 15-point questionnaire given by the state centre. This district planning was placed before the entire workshop by one leading activist per district.

The workshop was inaugurated by former AIKS state president J P Gavit, MLA. Its highlight was the reporting of the victorious Rajasthan peasant struggle for loan waiver, by former AIKS President Amra Ram, ex-MLA. This enthused all the participants. AIKS President Dr Ashok Dhawale then reported on the 34th All India Conference of the AIKS that was held at Hisar in Haryana. AIKS state general secretary Dr Ajit Nawale placed the Direction and Tasks before the Maharashtra Rajya Kisan Sabha for the next one year. This had been discussed and finalised in an AIKS state office bearers meeting the previous night.

On the second day, various AIKS state office bearers briefly placed the main issues before the peasantry of Maharashtra, as follows: Land Rights – Umesh Deshmukh, Remunerative Prices – Yashwant Zade, Right to Food – Arjun Adey, Cooperatives and Value Addition – Sunil Malusare. AIKS state office bearers Ratan Budhar, Dr Uday Narkar, Udayan Sharma, Uddhav Poul, Shankar Sidam, Savliram Pawar, Radka Kalangda and Sidhappa Kalshetty chaired the different sessions of the workshop. AIKS state president Kisan Gujar made the concluding speech and reiterated the tasks set for the coming one year.

After the district-wise group discussion on the planning of both movement and organisation on the basis of the given questionnaire, the workshop took these important decisions:
  • 1.       The Maharashtra Rajya Kisan Sabha will mobilise 5,000 peasants for the nationwide Kisan Sansad in Delhi on November 20-21 directed against the BJP-led central government on the two cardinal issues of peasant loan waiver and remunerative prices. Districtwise targets for this rally were set and preparations have begun.
  • 2.      The state government has started forcible recovery of electricity bills from the peasants who are already in distress, and it has also started cutting of power connections of the defaulters. This will be stoutly opposed at the local level and the cut power connections will be rejoined through struggle.
  • 3.      As the next step in the statewide joint peasant struggle for loan waiver and remunerative prices, the peasants would pour agricultural produce in front of the district and tehsil government offices all over the state on November 10. This action was successfully carried out in several centres by thousands of peasants.
  • 4.      The Kisan Sabha state and district centres will be strengthened, the AIKS leadership at all levels will give priority to Kisan Sabha work, proper division of responsibilities amongst state and district office bearers will be planned and stringently implemented and stress will be given on both consolidation and expansion.
  • 5.      The three lakh membership target of the AIKS for this year will be achieved through a concerted statewide mass campaign in November and December. Districtwise membership targets were finalised. Regular registration of village committees will be monitored. Regular and independent fund drives will be conducted.
  • 6.      Each district, as per its concrete situation, will select and decide its priority of work among the following five broad areas: A. Loan Waiver and Remunerative Prices, B. Land Rights, C. Right to Food, D. Right to Health, E. Cooperative Sector and Value Addition of Agricultural Produce. Local agitations on these issues will be launched.
  • 7.      Separate organisations of sugarcane-growing peasants and of peasants cultivating temple lands, affiliated to the AIKS, will be set up in the near future.
  • 8.      Concerted and systematic efforts at both state and district levels would be made to impart political, agrarian and organisational education to Kisan Sabha activists.       
  • 9.      Considering the crucial importance of the media, special media cells of the AIKS that will handle both mainstream media and social media will be set up at the state level and in every district. There will be a convenor in each district, whose name was decided by the district representatives themselves in this workshop.

The AIKS state workshop then concluded amidst great enthusiasm and resounding slogans.

Ajit Nawale
Vijay Patil