ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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KERALA-Significance of Silent Valley

struggle with that of the peasants. The CPI's Hindi Organ Janashakti elaborated this idea in its editorial on July 1: The Bihar Khet Sfazdoor Union Is aware of the reality that the agricultural labourers can achieve success in their .struggles only on a basis of fraternity with the poor kisans. The chances of such fraternity are great because of the fact that the poor kisans are themselves half labourers who cannot subsist merely on the produce of their land. The agricultural labourers do not have a hostile attitude towards medium kisans too. They have been actively supporting the kisans' struggle for fair price of their produce and availability of industrial products at fair prices and against the government's anti-kisan tax policies. But at the same time they also expect a sympathetic attitude from the kisans. With all this in mind, the Bihar Khet Mazdoor Union has been adopting a flexible policy and will continue doing so. But how can one be soft towards Hhose [kisans] who burn the huts of the poor, treat the agricultural labourers like animals and keep them in debt bondage as a matter of right? Though the editorial speaks of an alliance between agricultural labourers and small and medium peasants, the issue is not so simple in fact. Large surplus peasants have a dominant position in the Bihar CPI and the belated realisation that only a peasant-labour united front can be viable could well be taken to reflect the surplus peasants' need for the labourers' support for their own sectarian causes. The RKMlHs and the CPI's aim to get agricultural labourers to fight for the kisans' causes is fraught with danger for the former. The question needs to be asked of the CPI leaders what the Kisan Sabha had been doing all these years. The Kisan Sabha remains a purely sectarian organisation with limited objectives, such as agitating for so-called parity between prices of agricultural and industrial products by securing increases in the former. Before calling upon agricultural labourers to ally with the kisans in the struggles of the latter, the BKMU should answer the question whether the Kisan Sabha will work in the interests of agricultural labourers. Given the circumstances of the political party to which both the Kisan Sabha and the BKMU are affiliated, this is unlikely to happen.

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