Peasants in Acute Distress

Submitted by bk on Sat, 04/03/2017 - 19:05

The condition of peasants is growing from bad to worse in all parts of the country. Growing domination of capitalist monopolies, withdrawal of State support in the name of liberalisation, and the cash crunch created by the Note Ban have all added to the misery of the peasants. The following are some cases which have hit the news in recent weeks.

Sugarcane growers in UP

India is the second largest producer of sugar in the world, accounting for 17% of global production. Uttar Pradesh accounts for 40% of the sugar produced in India. While the profits of capitalist sugar mill owners have been growing, the peasants who grow the sugarcane are in extremely dire straits. They have not been paid for the crops they have delivered.

The sugarcane harvest season started from November, and the peasants have been supplying cane to the sugar mills for the past three months. They have received payments only for 10 days’ worth of supply!

The price of sugar, after staying almost unchanged for a period, has started rising in the domestic and world markets. The sugar mill owners are stocking up their output, waiting for prices to rise even further. They are making the peasants wait for their payments. Peasants are being made to suffer so that capitalists can rake in maximum profits.

The Sugarcane Crop Management Committee (SCMC), appointed by the Government of Uttar Pradesh, is supposed to mediate between the mill owners and cane growers. The SCMC makes sure that the sugar mills are guaranteed adequate and timely supply of cane in the crushing season, from the prescribed catchment area of each sugar mill. It does nothing to guarantee prompt payment to the cane growers for the crops they have delivered.

Prime Minister Modi had promised to solve the problem of sugarcane growers but nothing has changed. On Independence Day 2016, he lied to the people that 95% sugarcane farmers had received their dues. On the same day, peasants had blocked many sugar mills in western UP for non-payment of their dues.

Arhar growers in Vidarbha, Maharashtra

The price received by peasants in February last year was as high as Rs. 9000 per quintal in the traditional arhar bowl of Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region. It has now fallen to Rs. 4250 per quintal, less than the so-called Minimum Support Price announced by the central government.

Arhar dal is one of the widely consumed pulses which have been in short supply and whose retail price has been rising consistently year after year in our country. After having failed to do anything for many years, Government of India acted a year ago by hiking the effective procurement price (Minimum Support Price plus bonus) for arhar from Rs 4,625 to Rs 5,050 per quintal for the 2016-17 crop season. It stands exposed as merely a symbolic act, given the fact that peasants are not receiving this so-called guaranteed minimum price.

Production has increased in 2016-17 and so have imports. Stocks with traders have gone up. The price paid to peasants has crashed. Peasants who had responded to the government’s call to devote more of their land for arhar naturally feel betrayed today.

Drought in Tamil Nadu

All districts of Tamil Nadu have been officially declared as drought-affected. While it is officially reported that 17 farmers have committed suicide, peasant unions have disputed this number. They say the number of peasant suicides is more than 140 in the last two months.

Peasants faced with drought have been left to fend for themselves. The state government is caught in a bitter power struggle within the ruling party and chaos in the legislative assembly. Peasants are angry at the total lack of support from the State.

The Note Ban has further fueled the rising anger in rural Tamil Nadu, where farmers depend on co-operative banks for loans. The RBI disallowed the cooperative banks to accept deposits of the banned notes. Peasants and large-scale farmers were forced to deposit their savings in commercial banks. Limits on cash withdrawal are too low compared to the cash requirements of farming.

Tag:    farmers    peasants    rural distress    Mar 1-15 2017    Struggle for Rights    Economy     2017   

PARTY DOCUMENTS

Click to Download PDFThe first part of this pamphlet is an analysis of facts and phenomena to identify and expose the real aims behind the Note Ban. The second part is devoted to a critical appraisal of the government’s claims that it will reduce inequality, corruption and terrorism. The third part is what Communist Ghadar Party believes is the real solution to these problems and the immediate program of action towards that solution.

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These Elections are a FarceInterview with Comrade Lal Singh, General Secretary of Communist Ghadar Party of India by Comrade Chandra Bhan, Editor of Mazdoor Ekta Lehar

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Click to Download PDFInterview with Comrade Lal Singh, General Secretary of Communist Ghadar Party of India

by Comrade Chandra Bhan, Editor of Mazdoor Ekta Lehar

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History of Ghadar PartyA Presentation of Communist Ghadar Party of India

100 years ago Ghadar Party was formed by Indians in the US.It was historic milestone in our anti-colonial struggle.

The goal of this party was to organise a revolution to liberate our motherland from British servitude and establish a free and independent India with equal rights for all. It believed this to be the necessary condition for our people to hold their heads high anywhere in the world.

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Call of the Central Committee of Communist Ghadar Party of India, 30th August, 2012

Working class representatives from all over the country are gathering on 4th September, at a time when a titanic struggle is going on in our country. The struggle is between the majority of toiling and exploited people and a minority of exploiters. It is between the majority whose labour expands wealth and the minority who enjoy the fruits of wealth creation on the basis of their private property and positions of power.

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Call to the Working ClassDefeat the program of privatisation and liberalisation!

Fight with the aim of establishing workers’ and peasants’ rule!

Call of the Central Committee, Communist Ghadar Party, 23 February, 2012

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