Peasants are in continuous struggle, while the government is in deep slumber!
Mazdoor Ekta Lehar has been reporting continuously over the past several months that the peasants of Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar district are experiencing shortage of water for irrigation. Their crops are damaged. They have been in waging relentless struggle demanding water. The struggle has been going on since 15th July and the farmers have been trying different forms of struggle in an attempt to get this demands heard, including mahapanchayat, tractor rallies, demonstrations to the district office, and sit-ins at the office of the authorities of the irrigation department.
Communist Ghadar Party fully supports the on-going struggle of the peasants for water for irrigation. Here we are presenting the reports of the struggle on different fronts.
Administration is afraid of the militant demonstration at Nohar district
The farmers of the Nohar block of Hanumangarh planed a demonstration at the office of District Superintending Engineer of irrigation department on 18th July 2016. Members of the Mazdoor Kisan Vyapari Sangarsh Samiti and Lok Raj Sanghathan formed several teams that went from village-to-village and from hamlet-to-hamlet to mobilize people. In the meantime, the SDM called the delegation of the Samiti for a meeting on 16 July, but due to absence of the District Superintending Engineer the meeting had to be cancelled. Before leaving the meeting the officials invited the Samiti delegation for another meeting on 19 July to discuss the issues. They requested the Samiti to postpone the demonstration proposed for 18 July.
The Samiti called its meeting and resolved to postpone the demonstration until discussions are held. In the meeting held on 19 July, the sub-block officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police, and the Tehsildaar representing the administration, and District Superintending Engineer and Executive engineers from the Irrigation department were present. Hanuman Prasad Sharna, Vice President of Lok Raj Sanghathan, Madan Beniwal, Comrade Om Sahu, and Hansraj Sharma of Mazdoor Kisan Vyapari Sangarsh Samiti, former district council member Rajendra Sihaag, Indrapal Godara, Brijpal Bhakar, Om Bijarniya, Kashiram Dhupya, Jagdish Bhadu and others were present in the meeting.
The irrigation department presented the progress report and requested the Samiti to grant one and a half months to resolve the issues. The Samiti looked at the progress report and agreed to grant additional time with a warning that during this period all the issues raised by the farmers must be addressed. They warned that they would wage a do-or-die battle and the administration will be responsible for it.
Un-irrigated Area Joint Action Committee holds massive demonstration
The farmers of 18 un-irrigated villages held a massive demonstration on 20 July 2016 under the banner of Un-irrigated Area Joint Action Committee. The farmers took out a rally on their tractors. The farmers with their tractors congregated at the Jat Dharmashala, and in a disciplined way marched to the office of the SDM. The demonstrators raised slogans against the government and demanded that their land must also be irrigated.
The rally was led by Mahant Gopal, President of Un-irrigated Area Joint Action Committee, along with member of Nohar Lok Raj Samiti, including comrade Hanuman Prasad.
On reaching the SDM Office, the rally transformed into a public meeting. It was addressed by Mahant Gopal , Hanuman Prasad Sharna, Comrade Om Sahu, Comrade Niyamat Ali, Rajendra Sihag , Mangej Chaudhari, Shravan Tanwar, Sohan Lal Dhil, Dharmpal Godaara, former president of the council Rajendra Chachan, Pratap Mahariya, Rakesh Nehra, former Sarpanch Shankar Laal Sharma, Dayaram Sahu, Suresh Swami, Shersingh Beniwal, and others.
All the speakers declared in one voice that they will set aside their political difference and come together to unite and lead the struggle. They demanded from the government that is must provide irrigation facility to these 18 un-irrigated villages, and this must be declared as command area.
The meeting concluded with a warning to the SDM that if it does no fulfill the demands agreed during the meeting, the farmers will intensify the struggle.
Mahapanchayat of the farmers of Mundadiyabada
The farmers from 14 un-irrigated villages of the Bhadra Block of Shiganganagar district of Rajasthan organised their Mahapanchayat on 24 July at the government middle school in the Mundadiyabada village. They announced the launch of their struggle to secure irrigation in their villages. Farmers from all the 14 villages displayed their unity and participated in the meeting. Comrade Balwant Puniya of CPI-M, Hanuman Prasad Sharma of LRS, members of Nohar Lok Raj Samiti and Mazdoor Kisan Vyapari Sangarsh Samiti participated in the mahapanchayat. Mahant Gopal Nath presided over the mahapanchayat. Hundreds of women participated in the Mahapanchayat and displayed their solidarity.
All these 14 villages are located within a short distance from the Sidhmukh Canal and Chaudhari Kumbhram Lift. Irrigation water can be easily supplied to these villages from this two canals.
Those who addressed the mahapanchayat included former member of parliament Jaideep Huda, Mahant Gopal Nath, Comrade Balwaan Punia of CPI-M, Vice-President of Lok Raj Sanghathan Hanuman Prasad Sharma, Comrade Om Sahu, Shersingh Beniwal, Bhim Singh Beniwal, Pratap Khot, Master Ranjeet Dohariya, former district chief Shobha Singh Dudi, Comrade Om Jangu, Comrade Nirmal Kumar, Maniram Bhakar, Tarachand Karva, Pratap Singh Beniwal, Haji Maqbool Mandeliya, KC Bishnoi, Master Shabbir Husain, Vishal Goswami, Bhanvar Lal, district council member Mangej Chaudhari, Maniram Shiloo, Master Kulada Ram, Krishna Punia, Chaudhari Pratap Singh Khot, Jagdeesh Dhaka, Jagdeesh Punia, and others. Writer Vinod Swami coordinated the proceedings from the stage.
Addressing the mahapanchayat Hanuman Prasad Sharma said that “today all the farmers in our region are waging a stern struggle. Farmers from the irrigated and un-irrigated villages of Nohar, Bhadra and our district are waging struggle, and we must fight shoulder to shoulder with our brothers to achieve victory. The farmers are being crushed under the weight of loans, and are committing suicide following consecutive droughts. The workers, small businessmen are being destroyed as a result of FDI and are taking to streets raising their demands. But the government instead of listening to their demands is muzzling their voice through baton and bullets. We must understand that this system does not belong to us, nor does this government. They are mere clerks of the capitalists and protectors of those who profit from our blood and toil. So we must get ready to overthrow this system and join the struggle of the people everywhere to unitedly fight to attain final liberation.
While the capitalist looters run away with of crores of rupees of our hard earned money from the banks and government lets these defaulters roam free, nothing is being done to save the farmers who have taken small loans for survival. The workers are denied even the basic minimum wages. I salute the community of brave fighters who are waging stern struggle for their rights!
Banwan Punia of CPI-M said that our prime minister claims that it will grow pulses in other countries and feed the farmers of our land. If our farmers are provided with adequate water for irrigation, our state alone can fulfill half the demand of the entire country.
In conclusion, the mahapanchayat was resolved to raise the demand with the administration that the 14 villages should be declared as command and provided with water for irrigation.