Bengal: Agricultural Workers’ Wages Can Only Improve Through Militant Struggles: AIAWU
Howrah: As rural wages fall or remain stagnant, the huge workforce in the sector needs to build a movement aimed toward getting fair wages and social security networks for agricultural labourers.
This was the call given by B Venkat, general secretary of the All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU), whose 10th conference began here on Wednesday.
Presenting the general secretary’s report, Venkat said without building militant struggles, the wages of the agricultural workers cannot be increased. Alongside, it was also necessary to ensure the decimation of divisive politics being pushed by the Bharatiya Janata Party- Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) combine.
The AIAWU leader said agricultural workers were the most exploited section not only economically but socially also.
“The majority of agricultural workers are tribals and dalits. The onus on us is to draw them toward mass movements, else, the BJP-RSS forces will reap them for their Hindutva cause and start divisive politics amidst the working class of the country,” Venkat said, adding that the Narendra Modi government was trying to push a corporate agricultural policy that would will enhance the chances of corporate loot throughout our country.
“By corporate agriculture, it is envisaged that more lands will go to the hand of the corporates from the hand of the rural poor. Second, it will lead to less amount of man-days. In the corporate agriculture system, chances of employment will be bleak, leading to a decrease in wages for agricultural workers. Third, about 60% of workers in the agricultural sector are dalits and women. The corporates will never take the responsibility for their social security network. Fourth, the corporates will never take the responsibility for food security of the country, as they will work towards their profit,” he said.
The danger of corporate farming was also highlighted in the draft report that called for independent movements of the agricultural workers as also joint movements with other sections of the population. such as farmers and workers.
The AIAWU conference is being held at Sarat Sadan of Howrah district, and will continue up to February 18, with open session at Howrah Bijoyannada Maidan to be addressed by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, among others.
The conference is being attended by over 700 delegates from across the country.
In his inaugural speech, A Vijayaraghaban said during the so-called Amrit Kaal, there “has been only poison for the rural proletariat”, who are not getting employment. He called upon each and every unit of his organisation to reach every village and unify the rural people and build up an effective movement to defeat the “anti-people Modi government”.
He also said that agricultural workers will take part in large numbers in the Kishan Majdoor Sangharsh Rally in New Delhi on April 5.
Tapan Sen, general secretary of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) said: “Resistance to the anti-people policies of the Modi government is the only way out for the working class of the country.”
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