State Conference of Punjab Kisan Union

The two-day 5th state Conference of Punjab Kisan Union (PKU), a constituent of All India Kisan Mahasabha (AIKM), was concluded with enthusiasm in presence of 350 delegates from various districts at Tarksheel Bhawan in Barnala. The conference reelected Ruldu Singh as President and Gurnam Singh Bhikhi as General Secretary.

National General Secretary of All India Kisan Mahasabha Rajaram Singh inaugurated the State Conference. Addressing the conference he said that Punjab farmers were torch bearers of the national movement and were first to address the issue of corporate takeover of farming, land and food security by Modi Govt. It was the determination of farmers of Punjab which became the foundation for victory of farmers' movement against anti-farmer laws. The farmers of Punjab will now have to play a key role in defending the people against the attacks of corporate communal fascism in the country. The Modi govt is hell bent on selling everything that belongs to the people of India and must be resisted. Workers and Farmers have recently given a joint call from Delhi through a National convention in Delhi for resisting attack by fascist forces.

The conference also held two special sessions on “Environmental Crisis faced by the world and its impact on Agriculture' and "Political Challenges faced by country and Role of Farmers’. The keynote speaker for the first topic was Kanwaljit Singh who explained in detail on the imbalances being created in the environment that are impacting the world. He said that in 150 years of the Industrial Revolution, the temperature on earth has increased by 1.1 degrees Celsius. Due to this, ice glaciers and ice at the South and North Poles are melting rapidly. Further increase of 0.4 degrees Celsius, will submerge many seaside countries and coastal cities. This is happening due to the policies of developed nations and corporate companies to prioritise profit over everything. Environmental imbalance has increased to the level where it is impacting crop cycle. Unseasonal rains, droughts, excessive rainfall, cyclones and cloud bursts are on the rise. It is pertinent that environmental protection gets included in the agenda of the farmers' movement.

The impact of the environmental crisis on agriculture is massive. One-degree Celsius increase in temperature has resulted in the production of wheat coming down by 4 to 5 million tonnes at world level. The yield of 3 quintals of wheat per acre is decreasing due to rise in temperature at the rate of 0.2 degrees Celsius every decade. Farmers are forced to use chemical fertilisers, pesticides, weed killers more to compensate for loss in output. This is not only poisoning crops but also polluting air, water and soil.

The nations and corporations responsible for the environmental crisis want to push the burden of the crisis on developing and under-developed countries by increasing exploitation of the poor, adivasis, farmers and hills and forest dwelling communities. For this, they are coming up with many schemes of green bonus and carbon trading with attractive names which are snatching away traditional rights of people.

Recent flooding in Punjab and environment disasters in hill states is due to faulty developmental model deployed for the Himalayas. The Himalayas are the newest, most raw and highly sensitive mountain in the world. This disastrous tampering with the mountain will disturb the environmental balance of the whole of India and the world.

The question of the environment is related to the existence of earth and survival of life. Farmers should include it in their primary demands.

The second session on ‘Political Challenges faced by Country and Role of Farmers’ was addressed by Gurmeet Singh Bakhtpura and Purushottam Sharma. They spoke on the fascist assaults on the constitution and the role of farmers of Punjab to face this political challenge. While combating fascism based on unity of farmers and workers, it is also pertinent that a new wave of communist movement is resurrected, they said.

A 16-member team of office bearers was elected by the conference. The re-elected State President Ruldu Singh delivered his presidential speech in which he called upon to strengthen the movement to combat corporate loot of farmers.

The conference was also addressed by AIKM national vice-presidents Prem Singh Gehlawat and Phoolchand Dhewa, and AIKM Bihar state vice-president and MLA Sudama Prasad.