Kisan andolan – Present situation and the way forward

Second meeting organized by Mazdoor Ekta Committee

September 26 marked the completion of 10 months of continuous protests by the kisans at the borders of Delhi. On September 28, Mazdoor Ekta Committee (MEC) organized a second meeting on the theme ‘Kisan andolan: Present situation and the way forward’. The meeting was conducted online.

People from different parts of the country, as well as from Britain and Canada participated in the meeting. There were activists from Manipur, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi-NCR, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and other states.  Leaders of several public sector unions involved in the struggle against privatisation actively participated in the meeting. Activists of women’s organisations, kisan organisations, youth organisations and organisations fighting in defence of the rights of people took an active part in the meeting and in the deliberations.

The meeting was conducted by Sucharita on behalf of MEC. She introduced the main speaker, Shri Jagjit Singh Dallewal, President, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Siddhupur), which is one of the organisations spearheading the kisan andolan at this time. She also announced the names of leaders of other organisations who were invited to speak in support of the kisan andolan.

Many comrades from the East Indian Defence Committee (EIDC) in Canada, including Comrade Harbajan Cheema participated in the meeting. These comrades were in the forefront of the struggle against state-organized racist attacks on Indians in Canada in the 1970s, which led to the founding of the EIDC in 1973. The EIDC mobilised thousands of men and women of the Indian community to come forward in the struggle against the state-organised racist attacks, with the slogan “Self Defence is the only way!” Today these comrades are in the forefront of organizing the Indian community in Canada in support of the kisan agitation and the workers’ struggle in India. Sucharita said that it was a matter of great honour to have present in the meeting, comrades who have a long history of fighting in defence of the dignity and rights of the Indian community in Canada.

Shri Jagjit Singh Dallewal thanked MEC for organising this meeting and mobilising a wide audience, of workers, kisans, youth, women and patriotic Indians abroad. He elaborated on the course of the kisan andolan so far, the unity and determination of the kisans to not go back until the three anti-kisan laws are repealed, the lies spread by the state and the repression unleashed on protesting kisans, the attempts of the state to break the unity of the kisans. The big Indian and foreign monopoly capitalists have always had their eyes on the agricultural sector in India as a source of huge profits, he said, pointing out that the struggle against the efforts of the big monopoly houses to dominate the agriculture sector began right from the first phases of the privatisation program in India, nearly 30 years ago.

Shri Dallewal highlighted the growing unity of workers and kisans and the overwhelming support for the kisan andolan from all sections of the Indian people in all parts of the country. Elaborating on the way forward, he spoke of the resolve of the kisan andolan to take the struggle to all corners of the country. He pointed out that the struggle of kisans and the refusal of the government to concede their just demands had greatly eroded the credibility of the Modi government in the eyes of the people. He expressed his conviction that the government would be forced to eventually repeal the three anti kisan laws. He pointed out that the source of the problems facing the kisans was the decision of the Indian government thirty years ago to liberalise agricultural trade by signing the GATT. What is needed is a complete break with the program of globalisation and liberalisation. Otherwise, governments will implement the same anti kisan agenda by passing new laws in place of the present laws. The struggle was not only against the Modi government, but against every government that defends the interests of the big corporate houses against the interests of the masses of workers and kisans.

All the invited speakers spoke in support of the struggle that is raging in India today.

R Elangovan, on behalf of the Dakshin Railway Employees Union, extended his full support for the kisan andolan, pointing out that the demands of the kisans are the demands of all our people. Enumerating the all-sided attacks on people – the anti kisan laws, the labour codes, the monetisation and privatisation of valuable public assets, the suppression of democratic rights – he called for mazdoor-kisan unity to combat these.

Girish Bhave of KEC described the growing unity of the workers of all sectors in the face of the threats of privatisation. He explained that the All India Forum against Privatisation (AIFAP) had been formed to bring together on one platform all workers unions and organisations that are opposing privatisation. There is a growing realisation that privatisation is completely against the interests of the workers, kisans and all sections of our people and that it must be opposed, he said.

RK Trivedi from the All India Federation of Power Diploma Engineers congratulated the kisan andolan for having forced the government to hold back the implementation of the Electricity Amendment Act 2021. The Act is blatantly against the interests of the kisans and will lead to increasing cost of agricultural production, decreasing income and growing indebtedness for the kisans, he explained.

Shri Govindswamy Thirunavukarasu, kisan leader from Tamilnadu, criticised the government for blatantly allowing the unrestricted plunder of our natural resources by the big monopoly capitalists and thereby destroying the environment and endangering our people. Hailing the struggle of kisans at the borders of Delhi and all over the country, he emphasised the need to wage the struggle with the aim of defeating the program of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation.

Dalvinder Atwal of Indian Workers Association (Great Britain) hailed the kisan andolan and the growing worker-kisan unity. Kisans have thoroughly exposed the lying propaganda of the rulers, he said.

Iqbal Singh Sumbal, spokesperson, Desh Bhagat Sports Club & Cultural Society, Canada appreciated the effort of MEC to bring together kisans, workers and all patriotic Indians, whether in India or abroad, on one platform, to oppose the attacks of the state.

The Vice President of Lok Raj Sangathan, Sanjeevani, questioned the kind of democracy we have in our country, which enables the government to pass laws that are being vehemently opposed by lakhs of people. It is the duty of the state to provide sukh and raksha to the people, she emphasised, stressing on the need for enabling workers and kisans to be the rulers, the decision-makers and to take their destiny in their own hands.

Salvinder Dhillon of Ghadar International pointed out that the vision of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his comrades – of an India free from exploitation, whether the exploiters be British or Indian or both – remains unfulfilled. Let us advance the struggle to achieve that goal, he said.

Sheena Agarwal of Purogami Mahila Sangathan appreciated the increasing participation of women in the kisan andolan and in all fronts of the struggle today. The road to the emancipation of women, she explained, lies in women fighting shoulder to shoulder with men, in defence of our rights and for a society free of all forms of exploitation.

Birju Nayak of MEC cautioned against those parties who are promoting the line that BJP is the main enemy. To identify BJP as the main enemy means to once again be deceived and betrayed by the false hope that replacing BJP by Congress Party or some anti-BJP coalition will advance the interests of the kisans. The real alternative is to strengthen the alliance of the workers and kisans, so that it can take political power in its hands, put an end to the loot of our people by the monopoly capitalist companies and all other private profiteers, and guarantee secure livelihood and progress for all the working people.

Several participants intervened to give their views. They appreciated the initiative of MEC in organising this meeting and expressed their support for the demands of the kisan andolan. Hanuman Prasad Sharma, teacher and kisan leader from Rajasthan, said that the government is nothing more than the manager of the ruling capitalist class and it implements the agenda that has already been decided by the capitalists. Other activists pointed out that these attacks on our rights have been continuously going on, regardless of which government has been in power. So merely changing governments will not solve the problem. Our target is the capitalist class. Participants recalled the death-defying courage and conviction of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, whose 114th birth anniversary was marked by workers and kisans throughout the country just the day before. A youth activist presented a self-composed poem celebrating the determination and fighting spirit of the kisans.

At the end of all the interventions, Shri Jagjit Singh Dallewal once again expressed his gratitude to MEC for organising the discussion. He appealed to all participants in the meeting to take the message of the kisan andolan to all parts of the country and to build the unity of workers and kisans.

Sucharita concluded the meeting with an inspiring call to advance the struggle for a new India free from all forms of exploitation, for the establishment of worker-kisan rule, which will ensure sukh (prosperity) and raksha (protection) for all.

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