Statement issued by Maharashtra Committee of Lok Raj Sangathan – 4th December 2005
Dear Peasant brothers and sisters,
We on behalf of Maharashtra committee of LRS, send you all who have gathered in Pune for this important meeting our warmest greetings. In the recent All India convention of our organization held in Delhi on 1st & 2nd October 2005, major problems encountered by the Peasantry of India and the challenges in front of the Peasantry’s struggles, was one of the very important subjects discussed and debated. The Convention unanimously adopted resolutions supporting various extremely important demands being raised by Peasantry all over the country. The Convention also pledged to do everything possible to strengthen your struggles.
We fully support your following demands for which you have gathered in Pune and which are being raised by the Sheti Bachao Desh Bachao Jan Andolan.
1) That the stand to be taken in the Ministerial conference to be held in Hong Kong, by the Indian delegation should be decided after fully informed debate in the Parliament and only after taking Peasants, their organizations and Indian people in confidence.
2) That any proposal seeking to free imports of agricultural products should be summarily rejected.
3) That any proposals which may lead to passing the control, directly or indirectly, of agriculture or natural resources of our country into the hands of Markets or companies must be summarily rejected.
4) That the process of agriculture, agri-trade, electricity, education, finance sectors going into the hands of big multi-nationals or private companies must be stopped
5) That food security of the country, agriculture and natural wealth of the country must not be sacrificed on the altar of subsidies to handful of big business houses of India
6) That agriculture subsidy should be increased in such a way and to such an extent that farmers can get regular and quality supply of electricity, seeds, loan etc.
Dear brothers and sisters,
It is really extremely shameful and intolerable that the producers of most important wealth, Food, have to commit suicide in thousands due to the fact that governments after governments are refusing to take any responsibility for their well-being. Governments after governments and their Oxford and Cambridge trained ideologues, are telling the farmers of our country that “Farmers have to fend for themselves!” These governments are using the same language when dealing with all the working people of our country. These governments are callously and arrogantly pursuing the anti people Economic Reforms policies that millions of people across the country from all walks of life are vociferously opposing. Thus citizens, the struggle of farmers is one with the struggle of all the working people of our country. It is the struggle in the defence of livelihood, it is a struggle to live a life of dignity, it is a struggle to force “powers that be” to accept the basic fact that defending livelihood and promoting well being of all the citizens of the country is the most important and fundamental duty of the government. Hence all the working people are supporting the struggle of our farmer brethren.
Dear brothers and sisters,
There is no doubt that the Imperialists all over the world are eager to loot the natural and human resources of our country. That is why through their organs like WTO, WB and IMF they exert political and economic pressure on governments of other countries to make suitable changes in various policies. But they are not alone. Big capitalists of our country are also not behind. They also nurture the same ambitions. For them it does not matter whether the profits are generated by looting people of our country or some other country. That is why the Indian big capitalists are in the forefront in demanding anti-farmer, anti-people policy changes. Along with multinationals like ITC, Cargill, etc., it is the Indian big capitalists like Mittal of Bharti Telecom, Godrej, Thapar, Tatas, Mahindras, DCM group, Reliance, etc. who are pushing for privatisation of mandis, relaxation of the Land Ceiling Act so that corporate farming becomes possible, relaxation of import duties on agri-products, reduction of subsidies to farmers etc. etc. Thus brothers and sisters we have to fight against both Indian and International capitalists in defense of our livelihood.
Dear Farmer brothers and sisters,
Just like you, it is the experience of all the working people of our country that we all are completely powerless in deciding the policies of our country’s governments at all levels. In this so-called democracy we can at the most vote out certain governments during elections. But that still does not ensure the reversal of anti-people policies. What happens is that during elections all the major political parties give all sorts of tall promises but continue the same anti-people course of our economy. That is what has happened during the entire period from 1947 till now and that has been the experience since 1991 also, the period of New Economic Reforms, during which all sorts of combinations and coalitions have come to power at the center and in Maharashtra. But whether it is Congress or NCP or BJP or Sena or their allies in government, the same policies have continued. In Maharashtra Vilasrao or Sharadrao or Munde or Balasaheb Thakre, all claim to be working in the interests of the farmers of Maharashtra. But has any of them while in government taken the necessary executive steps to accede to all the demands mentioned above which you have been raising since last many years. No! In fact when in power all of them shamelessly have pushed for and pushing for reduction of subsidy to farmers, opening of farm sector to corporates, reduction of import duties on agri-products, privatization of mandis, etc., which are exactly contrary to your demands.
Hence Brothers and sisters,
Along with the struggle that you are waging, conditions are crying for you to wage another struggle i.e. political struggle. A struggle to progressively weed out the influence of all the big parties of Indian capitalists like Cong, NCP, BJP & Shiv Sena from the farmers movement by taking practical steps for example ensuring Gao Bandi to all those netas who refuse to support your demands, public boycott of all such persons and not allowing them to use your platforms. Time is calling on you to ask your existing elected political representatives i.e. Panchayat members, Nagarsevaks, Corporators, MLA’s & MP’s as to where they stand vis a vis your above demands. If they agree with your demands you must ask them to resign from political parties which do not agree to implement these demands immediately. Time is calling on you to use these demands as a litmus test to determine who is with you and who is against you. Time is calling on you work towards launching a political offensive so that during the forthcoming elections to all the elected bodies, from Gram panchayat to Lok Sabha, your organizations of peasants along with other such organizations of working people can put up their own candidates and ensure their election.
Brothers and sisters,
The present system of electoral politics and governance is designed in such a way that the will of minority super rich of our country prevails by concentrating all the decision making power in the hands of their lackeys. We, all the working people of our country, need to think what kind of new system we want to install in its place, so that will and well being of the majority shall prevail. We all will have to work to establish such a system in place of the present system. This is the other major political struggle for which we have to prepare ourselves. We in the Lok Raj Sangathan are precisely working towards this aim. As a part of our work we shall always strive our best to assist all struggles, like yours, which are in the defense of human dignity and for establishing People’s power.
Indian government has no right to sign on any Anti-peasant Anti-people clauses of WTO!
Peasants, let us begin our Political struggle!