The Proletariat And Emancipation Of Farmers

Based on the paper presented in Convention organised on 11th Memorial Day of Comrade Sunil Pal by PRC CPI (ML) on 29th December 2020 in IMA Hall, Patna.

Content of the booklet titled ‘Kisano Ki Mukti aur Mazdoor Warg’ published
in Hindi by PRC CPI (ML) on 14th January 2021 and was
translated in English by M Aseem.

Preface

Official statistics, bourgeois leaders and experts have often themselves described the extent of the increasing misery of most farmers – marginal, small, medium, and relatively less rich – under capitalist agriculture. For example, ‘Agri-expert’ and ex central Agriculture minister Sompal Shastri, while replying to a BJP spokesperson on Modi government’s promise to double farmers income by 2022, said on a TV channel that “total income of farmers for 23 crops except Urad has decreased by average 30% in 2018 compared to 2013” according to 2019 report of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). This indicates how much the indebtedness of farmers must have gone up, which was already 52% in 2012-13 per NSSO, while per AIDIS more than 74% agricultural families had loans outstanding during the same period vis-a-vis 64% of non-agricultural families. Moreover, debt to assets ratio (DAR), i.e., ratio of debt capital to total assets, has seen a big leap from 2003 to 2013; it went up 630% from 1992 to 2013 while it had gone up only 17% from 1992 to 2003. Juxtapose this to “30% decline in total income of farmers between 2013 to 2018” and the number of indebted farmers in 2021 can be estimated realistically. Another way to assess this is the observation of the Agriculture Census 2015-16 that 99.43% of Indian farmers have minuscule income and are starved of resources and assets with landholdings of less than 10 hectares.  If the total income of farmers declined by 30%, these 99.43% farmers are sure to have suffered that fate and most of them must have been further burdened by debt as farming became costlier and returns declined. Various studies of farm indebtedness show that small and marginal landholding peasants were more under debt trap in initial years of capitalist agriculture however in the later period tendency of indebtedness was more among bigger capitalist farmers. One study shows that if farmers are grouped into five quintiles on the size of landholding the top quintile suffers indebtedness to a greater degree than the lower 4 quintiles.

Constantly increasing tendency of indebtedness of profit oriented capitalist farmers is first and foremost owing to larger capital investment required for farming bigger landholdings and higher amount of loan capital borrowed for the purpose. However, even more critical factor is the problem of sale of agriculture products on opportune time and advantageous prices in capitalism as agriculture output has now been suffering for years that inevitable and irresolvable sickness of capitalist system known as ‘overproduction’. The agriculture sector is, therefore, in the throes of that unending economic crisis which is becoming more and more entrenched owing to the constant rise and fall of agri-commodity prices in world market more so because of new market instruments (e.g. forward trading and futures) introduced since 2003. The resultant volatility in prices is preventing farmers from getting returns commensurate to the capital invested in production and their investments are becoming more and more risk prone.     

It is pertinent to note that suicides by small and marginal peasants made insolvent by costlier farming and volatile capitalist market had become common by the last decade of 20th century and the overwhelming majority of them ceased to have the capacity to make even minuscule risk investments in agriculture after 2000 and are already on the brink of spontaneous emigration out of capitalist agriculture as they found earning livelihood by selling their labour power preferable to farming. Therefore, only the medium, big rich farmers retained the capability to invest risk capital with the objective to earn profit in capitalist agriculture. Many of these also became shaky after a decade and half of this before Modi came into power in 2014. Thus arrived that moment when ‘growth story’ of Indian capitalist agriculture ended before it could begin and the dreamy aspirations of earning high profits in free market outside government designated mandis or overcoming risks of deceptive markets through contract farming started to shatter and were finally tattered once and all after few more years.

This happened despite majority large and rich farmers being able to enjoy benefits of MSP. Therefore, it is easy to understand the sorry plight of other farmers unable to get any advantage out of MSP. This not only shows the devastating results of capitalist path of development in agriculture but also a timely pointer to the disaster to come through farming under direct or indirect control of corporate agri-business whereby the corporate capital will trample and devastate farming and rural communities just like an oncoming train crushes a trawler under wheels. Moreover, food security of vast majority will fall victim of profit motive of big corporate capital controlling agriculture and they will be completely in its sharp and bloody clutches for their livelihood. This explains why the present farmers movement differs in character from earlier rich farmers led agitations and why overwhelming majority of all classes and strata of Indian farmers, except a small section of the richest farmers, have put everything at stake in this movement.

To conclude, we reiterate through this preface, the call given by Central Committee of our Party through resolution passed in a conference in Patna on 29th December 2020, that farmers must continue their agitation till the very eradication of capitalism as their emancipation demands nothing less. The total journey of capitalism in agriculture has demonstrated that the vast majority of working peasantry has nothing to gain by capitalism. Let us lead this movement begun by farmers for their survival from corporate onslaught into a fight against capitalism which gives rise to these corporates and make this into a struggle to remove capitalism from the stage of society and history. Proletariat, the majority of Indian population, will soon join this fight as its vanguard and will stand united in front ranks with the farmers, undeterred and undeviated.

January 9, 2021

The Proletariat And Emancipation of Farmers

Frosty winter has been warmed up by farmers camping on the borders of Delhi for more than 50 days despite chilly winter winds and dense fog all over northern India, and have challenged Modi government at centre for a battle to the end demanding repeal of farm laws favouring corporate capital. Manipulations and machinations by the government have failed till now to break them.  Whereas this has undoubtedly broken the inertia gripping democratic-progressive people of the country especially the working class, it has also brought to the fore the existing disunity and differences in the working class revolutionary movement and further intensified them too. The objective of this paper is not to enter into debate and polemic with opposing views but to clarify our approach towards present movement in the midst of its confrontation with the ‘state’ and also to state significant principles of the strategy of proletarian revolutionary intervention in it. In this sense and in context of present confrontation between ‘state’ and farmers, this booklet makes an initial attempt to present a proletarian peasant programme focussing on emancipation of peasantry.

We view this movement as a vitally important historical action by peasantry of the whole country led by Punjab farmers against the disastrous consequences of neoliberal policies in Indian agriculture implemented by Indian ruling capitalist class motivated by the globalisation inline with the WTO recommendations and particularly due to the ruinous effects of the contradiction ridden development of capitalist agriculture during last 3 decades. This will have a broad and deep influence on the course of future revolutionary movements in our country. On the one hand, being in continuity of the kulak farmer movements of past it bears that stamp and many contradictions thereof. On the other, it is influenced by the reactionary milestone reached by the contradictory development of capitalist agriculture till date, which has not only changed its temper but also transformed its kernel, and, therefore, it appears to pave the way forward for a unique confluence of revolutionary actions of peasantry with the proletarian revolution.

Observing the farmers movement, we come across a peasantry whose dreams and aspirations of happy prosperous life have all been shattered in last 3 decades, especially the rich farmers who never imagined earlier the question on their very existence, just like that of poor peasants. Their high expectations from capitalist market have now bitten dust and their arrogance based on dreams of a rich life has been subdued. The misery of poor small and medium peasants is still more heart wrenching under the direct and indirect onslaught of capital. What to say of shattered aspirations, debt, hunger, malnutrition, and death (as suicides) has become their usual fate. They also hoped for becoming rich by capitalist farming but found instead that cup to be filled with poison. Even the rich farmers now find themselves trapped in the quagmire of capitalist farming. Except a very thin upper crust, overwhelming majority of peasants are in agony to see themselves facing the danger of being thrown out of agriculture, as directed by needs of capitalist exploitation. The steady measures of corporate capital towards final and decisive hegemony in agriculture has united many strata of farmers. That is the reason the movement which started from Punjab has now spread to all parts of the country. This links the broken chain of revolutionary peasant movements of the past to a new (proletarian) one in its kernel and, therefore, points to a new era and opens an entirely new horizon.

Effects Of New Farm Laws

Undoubtedly, design of corporate capital is to abolish Minimum Support Price (MSP) mechanism and ultimately control whole rural economy. However, it doesn’t and can’t stop there. Public Distribution System (PDS) is a direct target and capitalists like Ambani & Adani will be the main retail traders in not only grains but also fruits, vegetables, etc through their big AC stores getting ready everywhere. It all sounds good but once they monopolise agriculture production and trade like industry, prices of these products will be determined by these monopolies. Government is vacating whole of agriculture for them like what it is doing in Banking, Railway, Insurance, Armaments, Health, etc. Otherwise why will the corporate capital invest in agriculture, monopoly and profit being their primary motive? Result will be corporate grain warehouses and stores replacing government ones (e.g. FCI). Whatever meagre subsidy poor get on food through PDS will be replaced by Direct Cash Transfers in their accounts, with which they will be forced to buy from private corporate owned stores at high monopoly prices. Once they are habituated to it food subsidy will be terminated silently and stealthily like the one on LPG, PDS becoming history. This is not wild imagination. Government committees like Shanta Kumar committee and Niti Aayog have been recommending it for long and it will be implemented after these farm laws. Thus, crores of poor beneficiaries of PDS will be sent into the clutches of corporate capital and even the existing insufficient food security for them will become non-existent. The price rise on account of abolition of PDS will be even more severe than the price rise owing to present system of MSP.

Once corporate capital enters agriculture, by any means, it will impact farmers of all strata. New farm laws are facilitating this entry through contract farming. This will usher in modern large scale farming which is not a bad thing in itself, but in the present capitalist system it will cause the forced and widespread dispossession and alienation of farmers, i.e., the process of development of agriculture will be carried out through destitution of overwhelming majority of the farmers. According to PM Modi poor and small peasants will be benefited by forming Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) and practising largescale ultramodern farming under contract with the corporates. Obviously corporate contract-farming under new farm laws will be different from the existing one in the sense that it aims to bundle up small peasant owned land holdings into large parcels and hand these over to the corporates for largescale ultramodern farming. Its future dynamic will demand freeing up of this land from their small owners and next instalment of these laws will target small and medium owners of these small land parcels. Hence appropriate changes in landownership and lease laws is also on the agenda of the government. That is the reason freeing of land for development of modern agriculture has been, for the last one decade, on the agenda of bourgeois academia, intellectuals and commissions, committees formed by government and the papers of 11th Plan as a long term vision of ‘the state’. The success of implementation of these farm laws will give a forward push to this idea. But the present movement has put a spanner in the works. However, if the present movement suffers defeat, this will move forward at great speed and all these ideas will materialise into laws. This design can also be easily foreseen in the way government has been taking fascist measures to curtail democracy and crushing the rights of working class and other intermediate classes even before those of the farmers. We should also not forget that Modi government, immediately after coming into power, had brought land acquisition law to take over farmland and hand it over to the corporates.

There is a lot of talk about FPOs and government plans to form these in large numbers. The announcement by PM himself that the government will match these with contract farming provisions under new farm laws shows that government and corporates have a vile design on farmers’ land. Government not only intends to bundle up small land parcels into large ones to handover to the corporates but also to create illusion of profit to attract farmers into the corporate led modern largescale contract farming. Hence the heavy trumpeting of increase in income of farmers by new laws.  Attempt is on to make farmers forget their plight in the first phase of capitalist agriculture and happily join its next round through corporate contract farming slated to start in the coming years. We warn that the inevitable result of this will be corporate ownership of land by dispossessing farmers since corporate controlled farming cannot be materialised by leaving intact the land holdings owned by 86% small & marginal farmers and remaining rich-medium farmers as small land parcels. Hence the forced ‘gift’ of new farm laws to reluctant farmers. Rich farmers will not be exempted from this but, at present, government intends to win them over and use them for implementing this design by offering continuation of MSP regime favouring rich farmers. However, they have seen through this and have timely realised their own ultimate destiny after entry of corporate capital into agricultural production through contract farming and free trade of produce.

FPOs entering contract farming with large agri-business will result in crop selection per the price signals in the world agri-commodity markets and whole agriculture pattern to be determined by the rise and fall of prices and profit-loss. It, on one hand, will increase irrational use of harmful chemicals in agriculture destroying land fertility; on the other hand, luring them into the trap by dreams of becoming rich through contract farming with corporates, the already vulnerable economic condition of the farmers will finally be turned insolvent. Farmers are correct to be wary, instead of being charmed by its immediate illusory benefits, and afraid of its long term harm. They have realised through their experience that agricultural development under these farm laws is going to be Green Revolution Part-2 which is bound to devastate not only poor farmers but also the majority of rich and medium farmers as well and will result in a far bigger social crisis than Green Revolution by dispossessing not only poor but majority of rural population. Therefore, government intends to deal with unrest created by this crisis in different sections one by one and has attempted to create divisions in peasantry since beginning. We are all aware of this deceptive policy of the Indian bourgeoisie. That is why the government, instead of directly attempting to force corporate farming, has brought these laws favouring corporate capital as an intermediate measure so that farmers can be deceived by the illusory profits and ‘doubling’ of farm income while, in the meantime, government can pave the way for corporate entry into agriculture. We, therefore, say to the whole farming community that if we haven’t learnt from the disaster caused by the first round of capitalist agriculture, this next round will be even more punishing one than earlier and will cause forced alienation of a huge population from agriculture. We also beware those farmers who, attracted by its initial (probable) beneficial results, are eager for contract farming with the big corporates and are also trying to mislead rest of the farmers. We also warn those farmers who think that contract farming with the corporates will safeguard them from the vicissitudes of fatal rise and falls of the market. We say to them that they are committing a grave error. Not only past experience but also the news coming in right in the midst of the agitation shows that behaviour of the corporates in contract farming is arbitrary and different in situations of rise and fall in prices. We have enough evidence that companies arbitrarily refuse to buy produce from farmers in case of fall in prices despite the contract clauses and farmers are helpless. Except a very small section of richest farmers most farmers will be heavily worse off by market volatility despite contract farming. They should not be deceived that contract farming will protect them from the deleterious effects of price movements in world market. On the contrary, new farm laws will strengthen the position of corporates vis-à-vis farmers at every stage from sowing to harvesting and making produce ready for the market and farmers can’t even walk away from the agreement at will. They will rather be trapped and there are provisions which can evict them from land without needing any more laws as the extreme freedom of action enjoyed by companies will mean chains of slavery being tightened around the farmers. As the way is finally paved for corporate farming, monopoly capital will finally be victorious over agriculture, though the victory will entail a disaster for many. Farm laws form the basis for this victory.

Rise Against Not Only Neo-Liberalism But Capitalism

We, therefore, wish to make it clear to the farmers that it is incorrect to assume that only the retreat of neoliberalism can resolve this, although some liberal bourgeois intellectuals are propagating this to deceive farmers into withdrawing their agitation midway. Many in bourgeois intelligentsia and academia are making efforts to tell farmers that capitalism is all right, only the neoliberal policies are anti-farmer. However, can these policies be separated from capitalism today? Answer is a resounding ‘no’, since neoliberalism is nothing but capitalism – monopoly and utter anti-people capitalism suffering from irresolvable crisis. Therefore, to cease midway will be to accept defeat. Moreover, it is possible that a capitalist government of the present crisis-ridden and fascist period might technically withdraw these laws, but they can never turn back the clock on these policies. It will continue to implement these policies in one or other manner and will not cease and desist from attempts to evict farmers from agriculture as that is the inevitable dynamics of agriculture in capitalism.

The root and fundamental basis of neoliberal economic policies and laws is in the capitalist mode of production itself, whereas there are some people who are saying that these farm laws are the consequence of neoliberal economic policies starting from 1991. This is an attempt to tell farmers that they need to restrict their opposition only to neoliberal policies. But we wish to make it clear to farmers that, yes, these laws are definite consequence of neoliberal policies, however these neoliberal policies are themselves result of the basic laws of capitalist development. These policies have not come out of the blue that can just be rescinded to save farmers.

This whole discussion is useless since there is no way we can go back prior to 1991. History is not some clock whose hands can be turned back. To go back in time prior to a point in history means to wish away the developments after that. The task facing us is the task of going beyond capitalist relations because it is these relations which transform great physical progress and achievements made by humanity into an enemy and a destructive force for the working people.  The task today is to go beyond whole capitalist framework and to harness the great progress already made for planned utilisation by whole of humanity and to take these developments farther and further – this is the task which will free from exploitation not only workers and peasantry but all sections of humanity. To talk of turning back the wheel of physical progress from the current stage to a prior less developed stage is not only illogical but reactionary. First and foremost, it is impossible. Even if we consider it possible for a moment it means nothing but not only to forego all economic and physical progress but to move back to a point in past from where we are again bound to come back to that very point in history where we are now. This is like going in circles whereas our emancipation requires to harness all progress till now in the service of all humanity and not by destroying the achievements and progress already made.

MSP And Attraction Of High Market Prices: Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow

We observe that MSP did not benefit all farmers countrywide except the Punjab-Haryana farmers to some extent. Many states do not even have it now. Still it attracts the mass of poor farmers everywhere. The same applies for high prices in open market which used to be available occasionally till a decade back. Even till the last years of UPA rule sale in open market attracted many farmers despite all economic distress. But the things have changed. CACP report for 2019 confirms that except Urad out of 23 commodities, farmers income declined by an average of 30%. Nevertheless, in absence of logical alternatives, attraction of open market in some form and measure continues to exist not only for rich farmers but also farmers in general as a general tendency or remainder thereof, of small and direct producers in capitalism, and will remain to always exist if proletarian class revolutionary movement does not intensify. Despite causing vast devastation, it continues to exist for long as there is no scientific and appropriate alternative in front of them. In this sense, the responsibility for it lies on those practising working class politics as, owing to the weaknesses of strategy and tactics towards peasantry in particular and overall weaknesses and failures of the working class movement in general, we have failed to convey revolutionary alternative to the indebted and destitute peasantry.

The attraction of MSP and high prices in open market for poor peasants should be understood in context of the above general tendency of small producers, though this attraction is in decline and was almost on the verge of extinction prior to the new farm laws. After the new farm laws the demand of MSP in the form of a statutory enforceable MSP appears to have seen a revival among the farmers in general, especially as the last resort and only bulwark in face of a big disaster, though the attraction for a high price in open market has now disappeared as a real driving force or become very weak for broader population of farmers including rich farmers despite remaining as general tendency. Why? Because poor small and medium farmers have been ruined as a result of the very consequences of its operation in agricultural farming for last 3 decades while rich farmers are also being repelled to a great extent by the losses they have made on account of severe rise and fall of prices in open market in last one decade. Thus, the erstwhile possibility of and drive to obtain higher prices by selling in open market have both now effectively ended. At least it is not at the same level as earlier. This is a new feature of this movement which is finding expression openly. On the contrary, removing restrictions on open market trade of agri-produce was a major demand in the farmers movements of past and Modi government is referring to it in favour of its farm laws.

We are not aware of any movement in the past demanding benefit of MSP to be ensured to poor small-medium farmers. The demands to ensure MSP for poor farmers (taking government mandis and procurement to poor farmers in remote villages to reduce their cost of transportation) was never raised in past farmers movements. Their main demands were higher MSP, freedom to sell agri-products in open market, write off/down of institutional loans, etc, which did not provide much relief to poor farmers as they neither had access to government mandis nor much marketable surplus. As to loans, poor farmers were indebted more to private moneylenders and traders instead of banks. Poor farmers did not get benefit of MSP and became destitute because of the intolerable burden of loans while rich farmers were able to get benefit of both MSP and higher prices in open market and accumulated their capital. This was the result of the decades long first phase of capitalist agriculture. This is what we term the contradictory development of capitalist agriculture as, one the one hand, it benefited rich farmers, and on the other hand it led vast majority of small-medium farmers to the brink of dispossession by trapping them in increasing debt burden.

The second phase of capitalist agriculture is leading to fundamental changes now. Its not the character of rich farmers that has changed. It is the changed economic conditions of their life or likely changes in them, that are compelling them to adapt their political behaviour. Not only the possibility of obtaining higher prices in open markets has receded continuously, but there is likelihood of MSP itself being phased out after new farm laws, thus making their economic condition more and more vulnerable in future. Allurement of higher prices in open market drove them to higher investments in irrational capitalist agriculture as they had the capacity to do so and were confident of enrichment despite the risks of market up-downs. Emboldened by their initial successes they were enthralled by the illusions of development in capitalist agriculture and were unable to foresee the deepening long term crisis in capitalism. But what now? Now they are forced to not only bear its negative effects but also severe setbacks. In future, as the MSP is set to go after new farm laws, deteriorating economic conditions because of all agriculture products not getting sold in mandis, constant setbacks in open markets resulting in increasing risk in agriculture related investments is leading rich farmers into dire straits. One aspect of capitalist agriculture is more expensive farming. It has finally entrapped rich farmers, the result being their increasing burden of debt. It is logical that they foresee the effects of unrestricted freedom to corporate capital in agriculture through these farm laws as risk of unmitigated disaster for themselves and are deeply worried. Therefore, nearly whole farming community is restless and agitated owing to the misery and danger of dispossession by the ‘development’ of agriculture in capitalism, and has become united against its common enemy, the corporate capital.

Obviously, the farm laws and the unavailability of remunerative prices in open market has now further increased the importance of MSP for the rich farmers. It is they who are raising the demand of implementing it all over the country with a statutory guarantee, to mobilise the whole of peasantry behind themselves. What else could drive the political behaviour of a class motivated by profit till their expectations from capitalism are fully exhausted! Fact is, the farmers have not only used the demand of statutory guarantee for MSP to confront corporate capital eager for entry in agriculture, but also created a renewed fervour for MSP among poor peasants by propagating the advantages of statutory guarantee of MSP for all. Thus, whole of the farming community has been mobilised into this protest, driven by the apprehension of a disaster caused by inevitable and complete corporate control on agriculture and rural life through the new farm laws. From their point of view, statutorily guaranteed MSP has become of vital importance since they want protection from vicissitudes of market for their (especially rich & medium farmers) own survival as the private companies will then be forced to pay MSP despite fall in open market prices. However, why will a capitalist government concede to the demand of statutory MSP? Similar is the position on withdrawal of three farm laws, which will obstruct the further capitalist development of agriculture. That is why a government in the pay of corporates like Modi government is not even ready to listen to demand of statutorily guaranteed MSP. Even if it agrees for statutory guarantee for MSP as tactical retreat under pressure of movement, will it implement it? It cannot since the moribund capitalism can no longer bear its burden. Its like a moribund collapsing house unable to bear the burden of a single person. But it doesn’t mean that the demand is unjust as the bourgeois economists say. Fact is that the existing capitalist system itself is unjust and past its time and unable to bear burden of this demand. Hence the need to eliminate capitalism itself. As to Modi government, it is resisting since it’s the flagbearer of “political will” to defend the present capitalist system at any cost instead of being a ‘government of the people’. It is this “political will” which is at stake today, and this “will” is most vital for all fascists. It is this “will” which has endeared it to the capitalist class. It can not lose this characteristic “will”, even if it must opt for brutal repression of the farmers.

It is clear that if this demand is raised strongly and gains wide popularity, it will lead farmers to not only transcend capitalism but also to the demand of a proletarian state because except a proletarian state not driven by profit no other state can bear the burden of the purchase guarantee for farmers. Hence present farmers movement has a dual role. On one hand, it is a fight by owner farmers for their survival against the corporate capital. On the other, this fight for farmers survival can also cross the boundary of the capitalist state and bring to fore (spontaneously from below) the necessity of a proletarian socialist state. Same applies to MSP which, on one hand, has been used by agitating farmers as a powerful weapon against the corporate capital eager to enter agriculture through farm laws, and on the other hand, they are using it as an appealing rallying call to mobilise wider farming community against the designs of corporate capital. The MSP, in this form, instead of remaining MSP in original sense, transforms into a demand for purchase guarantee under a contract farming agreement with the state. Hence, though externally bearing stamp of the old demands of the farmers movement, both its aim and kernel have metamorphosed into new. While its objective is to put up an unscalable barrier for the corporates, its kernel is directed towards breaking the boundary of the bourgeois state.

The whole framework of the new farm laws aims to push the farmers out of agriculture by demolishing the concept of all safety mechanisms (e.g. MSP) for them. It is confirmed by the documents of 11th Five Year Plan, recommendations of CACP and recent discussions of Niti Aayog. Whether it is the law to facilitate entry of huge companies in contract farming, or the one allowing big corporates to buy produce at farmgate and trade it freely anywhere, or the one to amend Essential Commodities act, all three laws strongly favour the corporate capital. It, therefore, becomes essential to stick to the demand to repeal these laws and to utilise demand for statutorily guaranteed MSP to organise and mobilise farmers to rise in revolt against the onslaught of corporate capital.

The agitation should be analysed with this outlook. This is based not only on the objective understanding of processes working externally as well as below the surface of the movement but also guides us arrive at our revolutionary tasks. It was with this objective that our paper in PRC Conference presented the outline of a revolutionary programme for farmers on behalf of the working class. It needs be realised that price signal governs and drives the common farmers in capitalism. Therefore, their pull towards MSP cannot be the sole criterion for deciding our approach towards the present farmers movement. We need to form a comprehensive view by examining both external and internal aspects of a phenomenon. Not to do so would only demonstrate the political short-sightedness and tactical poverty of those practising revolutionary working class politics. After more than 50 days of the movement, we are in a position to say that along with the cry of freedom from corporate capital it is also capable of mobilising the countrywide masses against the capitalist loot itself since this agitation has moved towards this new awakening solely under the compulsions of its own internal dialectical dynamics.

Rich Peasants In 2021: Some More Discussion

A lot is being said in the working class political circles about the rich farmers in this movement. Some discussion and few clarifications regarding rich farmers are, therefore, in order. We find that a blunt (foolish and non-dialectical) opposition to rich farmers is being adopted by some to be the revolutionary political act of working class, which essentially means asking the working class to keep away from this movement. However, we must remember that whereas the common farmer of today is not the one typically exploited by feudal landlords as portrayed in stories of Premchand, the rich farmer of today is also not the old one who only benefited by expansion of capitalist farming and market remaining fully unaware and ignorant of its future negative consequences. They could then find nothing but profit in capitalist agriculture and considered themselves unchallenged in the arena of capitalist farming. While profiting from capitalist agriculture they were unaware of the fact that by deepening and expanding capitalist farming they were paving the path for big corporate capital to enter the arena of capitalist agriculture once developed sufficiently and to bring forth their own giant challengers. They remained fully unaware of the fact they were creating the instruments of their own future destruction and negation. They remained ignorant that this very capitalist agriculture, once developed sufficiently, will put serious question mark on their own very existence and survival. That juncture has now arrived. The spectre of the entry of corporate capital into agriculture, now real and imminent, is making them restless owing to its devastating consequences for themselves. These repercussions can only become greater in future bringing forth more and more crises. Hence, not only the poor peasants but the rich farmers also find their confidence in capitalist agriculture shaken. Their role in the movement till now is quite evident of this. We can say that the rich Indian farmer of 2021, face to face with the inhuman character of capitalist system, will have to give up its past prejudices and welcome and support our call of collective farming under a proletarian socialist state, as there is no other way of its very survival. Both to make the movement victorious and to avoid the devastating fate under the corporate onslaught, they will find only one remaining choice – undeterred fight against capitalism in alliance with workers and poor peasants. The road ahead for rural workers and poor peasants is clear. They know that their destiny lies with proletariat. It is mainly the rich and medium farmers who must decide how they can survive the large scale capitalist production and onslaught of corporate dominance. Only they, among all farmers, face this question. We should allow them to think over it freely. If they do not choose the path suggested by the proletariat, we will have to leave them to their fate. However, it need be said that it is now impossible to prevent emergence of this revolutionary kernel of the present movement (emergence of the path of emancipation of farmers under a future proletarian state) since the inhuman anarchy of capitalist production itself is guaranteeing this by turning more devastating day by day and leaving no other alternative for the entire rural population. This is the only possible path forward for history and the whole of humanity is bound to move forward this way sooner or later for its emancipation.

Notwithstanding the division of farmers into many classes and strata, present crisis ridden capitalism has blocked the erstwhile option of one class of farmers moving ahead on capitalist road by exploiting the rest. If they attempt to move ahead on this very road, they will themselves be penalised and gobbled up by corporate capital. Not only farmers but the whole of humanity and civilization can only survive by giving up the historically obsolete idea of exploiting others. All classes oppressed by corporate capital must now realise the demand of time and direction of history. No intermediate class can now save themselves by exploiting proletariat and sacrificing the interests of the poorest. Those who exploit will in turn be victims of bigger exploiters. This is the crystal clear truth now in the present age of giant corporate monopolies. Besides, whoever splits the movement for petty momentary interests and causes defeat in this fight for farmers’ survival against corporate capital will be permanently thrown out of the future movements.

Capitalist agriculture in India was ushered in from above by state sponsored reforms. The winner of this process was this very class of rich farmers who were also amply benefited. Now they do not want allurement of high prices in open market in place of minimum price guarantee by government. They have experienced the MSP less private open markets in Bihar, Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana and several southern states and they know all its pros and cons, promised profits of future and current bitter results very well. In the current stage of capitalist development of agriculture, they are lured by nothing but MSP as they have realised that open market will bankrupt them. Undoubtedly this is something new for rich farmers. They want to reverse the conditions for this scenario but their attachment to private property also makes them afraid of the leadership of working class and the proletarian state. Hence their predominant tendency is to look back instead of moving forward. However, the apprehension of what lies in future for them also brings them closer to proletariat. Only the passage of time can remove this baggage of past. As the repercussions of corporate dominance will become more and more clear, realisation of the real alternative will dawn upon them. Today they have come into the fight for demands with new kernel and a new temper, in future they will be prepared mentally for other aspects too.

The Existence And Nature Of Contradictions Present In The Movement

It is true that the demands of present farmers movement are contradictory, the basis of which lies in the class division among the farmers and specific historical background. Most prominent contradiction is the fact that the farmers rely on instruments of capitalist state in their fight for survival against capitalist system dominated by corporate capital whereas the success of this movement as well as the long term future of farmers make it necessary to go beyond the bounds of capitalism. Let us take the example of MSP. The new farm laws aim to dismantle MSP based public procurement to finally dismantle the Public Distribution System (PDS) which will demolish the food security of both rural and urban poor. Hence the poor must oppose the farm laws. Still neither the rural nor the urban poor can wholeheartedly support MSP since within capitalist relations, it results in higher expenditure on food by workers and other working people. This naturally weakens the support of working class and poor people in general for this movement. Though, without the obstacle of profit, it is possible for any government to provide free nutritious food to not only poor but for all despite MSP, ‘state’ can use MSP to manipulate and provoke poor against movement at a delicate moment. On the other hand, even if the demand of cost plus 50% MSP is conceded by government, it cannot be fulfilled in capitalism beyond declarations because the root cause of the problem of just prices for agri-produce and guarantee of dignified livelihood for farmers is not the presence or absence of a ‘law’ but the completely irrational operation of sale of agri-produce in profit oriented capitalist system which constantly keeps pushing majority population to economic indigence. No capitalist laws but only a proletarian revolution can resolve this impasse. Now we find the whole farmers movement sticking to the demand of government procurement of all agri-produce on preannounced prices. This implies that the fundamental demand of the movement is for the government to enter into contract farming with farmers, which is impossible to be fulfilled not only by the current fascist government of crisis ridden capitalism but also by a ‘normal’ capitalist government as making production system free of profit motive is an essential precondition for it. But that is impossible without social ownership of means of production and complete socialisation of production, i.e., reorganisation of society on socialist basis by abolishing the rule of capital. Obviously, the kernel of this demand is anti-capitalist. Therefore, the solution for this is possible only in a proletarian state by organising farmers into collective farms and entering into contract farming agreement with them, as was done in socialist Russia.

Hence the demand for statutorily guaranteed MSP, though irrational in capitalism, transforms the current farmers movement into one that in essence aims at a revolutionary objective, and knowingly or unknowingly sows the idea of a state in the imagination of the farmers that looks like a proletarian state. And it cannot be gainsaid that it is solely proletariat that as future ruling class can promise to farmers to save them ‘as farmers’ from the absolutism of bourgeois state and anarchy of capitalist production, if they are ready to go beyond the bounds of capitalist production, the possibility of which has improved quite a lot.

In brief this contradiction is only natural, especially more so since the present movement of farmers is not one of imaginary ‘innocent’ and ‘simpleton‘ farmers but of the ones who are under the influence of capitalist ideology and who were hitherto driven by capitalist aspirations and mentality of becoming rich and wealthy, however much they want to escape from those aspirations now and, browbeaten by the markets, are seeking shelter with state, though that state is capitalist and true to its class, instead of protecting them, is serving them on a platter to be gobbled up and digested by big corporate capital.

Path Of Emancipation Lies In Solution Of Contradictions

As petty producers in small scale production the farmers’ natural propensity is to be driven by price signal, as they have no other way to satisfy their desires for development, till by their own experience and ideological-political intervention of proletariat they understand that their redemption does not lie in owning small land parcels but in exploitation and oppression free collective farming under a socialist state, which will resolve all the above contradictions and problems arising in the 21st century modern agriculture.

The probability of resolution of the contradiction between its external form and real kernel will increase in case the movement picks momentum and this can take any form – simple, complex or explosive. It depends on the shape and form taken by the confrontation emerging between the corporates and farmers movement and what errors of omission or commission are committed by the fascist government in handling this movement. The government has remained weak in handling the movement till now and the farmers look set to take it to higher pitch and momentum. Along with the farmers, the interests of proletariat and working class in general require the unity of farmers remaining intact till victory against corporate capital and its brokers. It is essential that the attack of farmers’ agitation be focussed against the corporate capital and irrational contradictory development of capitalist agriculture. The question of coordination and unity of leadership of farmers movement with that of proletarian revolutionary leadership becomes of vital significance here for the complete success and victory of the movement since it is only the working class which for historical reasons is capable of fighting to the end with capitalist class for emancipation of the farmers, but also has the most clear and complete understanding of the strategy and tactics of this struggle and also has the ability for comprehensive political exposure of the whole system of capitalist agriculture. Clearly, the possibility of the final victory of the movement will weaken in absence of appropriate role of working class and its revolutionary leadership. Hence ensuring the presence of the working class revolutionary ideology in the movement as soon as possible is the challenge facing both farmers and working class.

What Is Being Reflected By The Present Farmers’ Movement?

It must be reiterated that we do not agree with the view that present movement is only a continuation of past movements driven solely by kulak interests. It is still more erroneous to view it as complete reflection of or identical to the kulak farmers movements of old. What is of utmost significance for the working class movement is the fact that that this movement has led common peasantry to consider the ill consequences of capitalist development of agriculture including corporate farming as their chief enemy, though it is true that it might not be possible to turn it against capitalism itself owing to the serious weaknesses in the working class movement itself. This agitation expresses despair of the farmers in the capitalist path of development of agriculture and is creating a spirit of rejection of the very principles of capitalist competition, i.e., moving forward stepping on the dead bodies of each other and encouraging an atmosphere conducive to generation and spread of new revolutionary ideas. In absence of the progressive and revolutionary consciousness the common farmers might not be able to understand clearly the underlying causes of the present disastrous crisis in agriculture and the role of capitalism but when they accuse the government in anguish and pain for their ruin and devastation, the real target of their anger is nothing but capitalism. It is imperative to encourage and amplify these sentiments and thoughts. It is a joint and common, and mandatory, task of all revolutionary working class and peasant organisations and their advanced forces.  If this task can be completed, it will have deep impact on the revolutionary task of transforming state and society, rather will give it a big push ahead and huge momentum.

What does this sharpening of movement reflect? This reflects that the common farmer is now compelled to conclude that they can no longer sustain within the capitalist competition for higher prices and profit on the basis of their private property of small landholdings and small scale of production and they are not capable to take any more risks to compete for higher prices with large scale corporate capitalist farms to fulfil their aspirations of happy and prosperous life. They have realised that their position as petty producers in capitalist competition has pushed them into the quagmire of debt and the deep distress of loans and impoverishment have forced them into the trap of suicides and dispossession instead of prosperity. It is also clear to them that the new farm laws are nothing but the continuation of this irrational contradictory development of capitalism in agriculture, corporate farming being its next and inevitable destination. At this new juncture corporates will be the new predators with insatiable hunger. The victims of their hunger will not only be limited to rural proletariat, semi-proletariat and poor farmers but it will go beyond to devastation of whole countryside and dispossession and ruin of most of the intermediate classes including a section of rich farmers.

Danger of corporate domination is not the only reason of the present restlessness of farmers. They have witnessed the distressing consequences of first phase of development of capitalist agriculture and that is causing great fear and anxiety. It must not be forgotten that lakhs of farmers have already died by suicide owing to the destructive results of capitalist agriculture. Now they no longer dream of enrichment through market. Nevertheless, for want of any other alternative, especially in absence of a working class revolutionary intervention for transformation of their life, they could and would do nothing but keep on jostling for illusory benefits in the same market despite being ruined. What Modi government has done through the farm laws is a ‘sudden’ assault on poor farmers who in desperation have risen in this battle against the government. Therefore, there is a strong likelihood that the farmers movement can transcend the limit of MSP and target the irrationality and anarchy of capitalist agriculture in toto in near future, that being the root cause of ruin of broader farmer community because it is the law of capitalist development in agriculture which leads to corporate domination on farmers, which they are opposing. It means that if this movement makes emancipation of farmers and social transformation for that as its point of departure even in very general terms, it will lead to its moving forward on a revolutionary path since there can be no end to farmers’ woes within capitalism, and if it takes revolutionary path its strength will become manifold in alliance with workers and all poor people, making it invincible. However only desires cannot make it happen, neither the poor-medium peasants will have this revolutionary awakening on their own, nor the movement will move in that direction by solely by their own efforts. This needs indefatigable efforts of the class conscious workers and their party whose task is to explain patiently to farmers how the future proletarian state based on alliance of workers and working peasants will free all farmers and countryside not only from forced corporate loot but also emancipate them from the very exploitation of capital. Hence working class must intervene in this movement with its maximum slogans and not partial demands. Farmers movement has traversed in a certain way, the victory beyond can only be ensured in this manner.

Historical Mission Of Capital In Agriculture And Rich Farmers

Undoubtedly corporate favouring farm laws will have differing impact on poor and rich farmers. However, the difference will be of quantity and not of fundamental direction. While the poor medium peasants will be forcefully proletarianized, barring a very shallow but the wealthiest upper crust the rich farmers will also lose their erstwhile position and they will also be dispossessed and ruined. It must be noted that the historical role of capitalism in agriculture is to drive away broader population of farmers from agriculture which is accomplished in multiple phases. In India, the rich farmers benefited in the first phase while the poor (small and marginal) peasants were ruined by heavy debt burden and impoverishment by the costlier farming typical of capitalist agriculture. In the current 2nd phase of capitalist agriculture, medium and rich farmers have now become the target of capitalist alienation of property. Rich farmers were, and still are, very useful for capitalist system. Therefore, ‘state’ might adopt some less painful methods for alienating and driving them out. The proposal of ‘income support’ as a substitute of ‘minimum support’ is an example. Annual payment of 6,000 rupees as Kisan Samman Nidhi is a form of this income support and is quite alluring politically. We have already seen such compensation to farmers in Europe and America to forego farming. This is a way to ‘bribe’ and buy out farmers which is adopted by the ‘state’ to avoid the danger of social unrest inherent in forceful driving out of mass of farmers from agriculture. However, the temper of current movement indicates this might not delude farmers, even if the amount of pay-out is enhanced as Indian farmers do not appear to be ready to give up agriculture as easily as Europe and America. Therefore, the decisive victory of capitalism over farmers in India is likely to be achieved only through devastation and complete ruin of farmers whether it will be accomplished quickly or over a long period will depend on many circumstances. The main take away is that the task of bringing together of working class and exploited-oppressed farmers as allies remains pending. Need of the hour for vast masses of exploited-oppressed peasantry to stand immediately with proletarian revolution and for future proletarian state and working class should do all it can to make peasants movement victorious. Present peasant movement has defined and presented this task to both classes in clear terms with some specific characteristics in this new era.

Thus, despite the history of rich farmers, fact is they cannot avoid being dispossessed from agriculture sooner or later. If we try to give voice to the anguish of the rich farmers, it will be like they asking government, ‘Were we rich farmers used to accumulate capital in agriculture so that one day it might be appropriated by the big corporate capital by predating upon and gobbling us up?’

Class conscious worker and poor peasant will tell them, ‘You have got it right. Capitalism works exactly that way. This is what is called capitalist development. To become more and more centralised in the hands of big capitalists or their trusts is the inherent character of capital. The hue and cry raised by entry of big capital in agriculture is only an example of this. This is the extended form of capitalist law of big ‘fish’ predating upon small ‘fish’. However, the ‘fish’ now find themselves facing ‘sharks’ and ‘crocodiles’, and in capitalism the result can only be against the ‘fish’.’

This is the fundamental law of capitalism that capital always passing from smaller to bigger to still bigger capitalist owners, ultimately tends to become centralised in the trusts controlled by few largest capitalists. This march of capital goes on ceaselessly, and devastating not only the working class, but also ruining numerous small-big ramparts of capital owned by petty producers, creating social unrest. This march of capital can only move ahead through ruining all intermediate classes like what has happened till now and is bound to become quicker in future in Indian capitalist agriculture. This is the general law of development of capital and the principal reason for the crisis of peasantry.

Centralisation Of Capital, Expropriation Of Farmers And Proletarian State

We want to tell farmers plainly that this law of centralisation of capital can only be stalled or reversed through uprooting the rule of the capitalist class, that means in essence to put all social wealth in social ownership and utilise it in the service of all humanity without discrimination instead of it being owned by capitalist class and made to work solely for increasing their profits. This sole purpose of social wealth being to accumulate more and more capital for few owners has transformed it into enemy of humanity. However, the present nature of social means of production can be transformed from enemy of humanity into friend of humanity by putting these in social ownership, since the objective will then change from earning profits for capitalists to fulfilling social needs of all.

The immediate impact of this on agriculture and farmers will be the establishment of a proletarian state of working class with participation of peasantry, which will organise all real farmers into collective farms where they will grow as much produce as possible without fear of competition and markets. The more they produce, and of better quality, will contribute towards their own and social progress as it will fulfil the need of nutritious food of whole working class, a fundamental responsibility of proletarian state. Working class state will not only procure whole produce of farmers but will also transform agriculture into modern and exploitation free one in the leadership of farmers (and not of capitalists) so that they will also become free of present drudgery and have ample time for their all-round development including professional skills. Present anti peasant and worker capitalist competition among the farmers will then become a thing of the past. Therefore, individual and collective development will then become complementary and inter se prerequisite. Enrichment of few at the cost of all other farmers, especially enrichment of corporate capital and their endless pursuit of profit, in brief the whole contradictory character of capitalist development, which is the mainstay of not only capitalist agriculture but of the capitalist system in its entirety, will cease forever.

The objective of workers and peasants state, to be established by uprooting capitalist state, will be the progress and upliftment of real producers and not guaranteeing profits of capitalists and corporate firms. It will permanently end the present system of sacrificing interests of peasantry for the sake of profits of few capitalists which is the basis of existing capitalist agriculture and against which the farmers are agitating now. All the anarchy and irrationality of economic system which ruins the farmers speculating in prices controlled and fixed by the international financial capitalists will end as the proletarian state will abolish the freedom to rob farmers at will and remove Indian agriculture from the global system of exploitation. The crisis of overproduction, that chronic disease of not only agriculture but of whole global capitalist system will also become a thing of the past. The problem of ‘sale on remunerative prices’ as well as sudden collapse of demand will both be no more as the farmers will engage in more modern but exploitation free collective farming under contract with proletarian state, with pre-agreed remunerative prices. The need will now be to produce more since that state will not be driven by profits but with the aim of supplying more and more material needs to ensure higher quality of life for all producers.

Proletarian state will make essential public services like education and health free, universal and easily available for all to end the capitalist stratagems that make a large part of the income of workers and peasants go back to the treasuries of the capitalists making them become further indigent. This state will also ensure public and universal care for all those who are incapable of working and are left to die uncared for in capitalist system. A part of the social product would be set aside for old, children, sick and handicapped as social responsibility which is not possible in capitalist system today.

 Our relationship with nature will also become rational. The irrational capitalist race among farmers for becoming rich has led to excessive use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and hybrid seeds, which has damaged the fertility of soil not only in regions of Green revolution but of the whole country, and agriculture might be damaged irreversibly for future generations. The farmers know this but have no way out in present system. They are unable to save their own lives from ruin what to say of soil fertility. The saddest thing is that capitalist society has not been successful in eradicating hunger despite destroying soil fertility. The pursuit of profit has led to the situation where grains are rotting in warehouses and farmers are compelled to destroy the whole crops of fruits of vegetables in the fields as they cannot get even cost price. Fact is that presently higher production of agriculture products further tightens the noose around farmer’s neck. As soon as agriculture is freed from production for profit motive all these will become things of the past and society will be able to satisfy needs of all even if production is a little less. We’ll be able to return to nature what we take from it, put a stop to its over-exploitation and will be able to harness nature and its forces in the service of the society as a conscious part of it and not as victors.

The women farmers will also be free of oppression as the oppression of women will cease in entirety. Their participation in social production will increase without any domestic burdens or social pressures and the responsibility of nurturing children will be that of whole society and the state as its representative instead of the women alone. A new world will then arise. A new farmer will be born who will work hard for a beautiful, prosperous and wealthy society of which she herself will be a member, instead of the present crazy pursuit of being rich and individual prosperity the consequences of which are already visible. Then the new all-round human will arise. There will be a new civilization based on cooperation with, instead of in competition with, the nature. Human life will then truly be human. Therefore, we find that emancipation of farmers requires them not to become part of this pursuit of profit but to eradicate the rule of capital altogether.

However, the first and foremost task for this is to stop the destructive march of capital’s ‘Ashvamedh’. For this, it is not enough to remove Modi government, but we must not pause till capitalism itself is eradicated. Only then will end the inhuman cycle of corporate capital the consequences of which the farmers are suffering now. The emancipation of farmers as farmers will be achieved quite easily and quickly under a future proletarian state, whereas what to say of small farmers it is impossible for even rich farmers to survive as independent producers in the face of competition from large scale capitalist production and present giant corporate capital in the form of large companies. Hence, the future of farmers consists only in allying with workers to fight for a new society else compete ruin is inevitable.

Basis Of Our Party’s Support

Our party as vanguard of working class, stands rocklike and in full force with the agitating farmers on the basis of building abovementioned society free from exploitation and on the appeal to struggle together for this objective. On behalf of working class, we intend to ensure that farmers movement should not become isolated, hence we have attempted to elaborate in great detail the finer issues related to this. However, fact remains that this movement can only move forward with the force of its own dialectical dynamics and by reaching a rational and scientific understanding. Only then it will score final victory over corporate capital in alliance with working class.

On behalf of our party and working class, we wish to convey to agitating farmers that, ‘working class supports their struggle for survival from big capital as its own with confidence that they will continue it till final victory and will realise that neither farmers nor the society or humanity can gain anything till the rule of capitalist class is overthrown and they come out of its vicious circle. We have no intention to tell farmers that there is any hope of emancipation from misery and solution of the big problems of life without freedom from capitalism. Saying anything else will be false.’

Conclusions

That the present farmers agitation has become so popular and inspiring is the result of its sharp and strong opposition to corporate power which is today the chief force for shameless robbery of the labour of Indian working people and natural resources, hence the fountain of all injustice in society. Any movement opposed to this big capital is bound to become dear to common people by attracting attention and support of all. This is what makes the present movement unprecedented and different from past movements for remunerative prices, despite all its internal contradictions. In its kernel it is spontaneously targeting capitalist rationality and market mechanism through which corporate capital intends to enter agriculture, and that is its major characteristic.

It is remarkable that, though not consciously, this movement is inspired by the idea of a state which will reverse the contradictory progress of capitalist agriculture including all its ruinous consequences. The fear of anarchy of market and the fight to prevent final victory of corporate capital over agriculture is driven by this idea. This demonstrates the farmers’ present level of consciousness. They want a state which will go against the interests of capital, irony being the desire for fulfilment of this demand is dependent on the mercy of a capitalist state! This is the epitome of contradictions inherent in this movement implying that, in case this movement strengthens, it is bound to turn against the rule of capital. If such an outcome comes about, it will be no surprise.

It is very much possible that the government might retreat tactically, as part of corporate bourgeois strategy, for the time being. But that will not mean emancipation of farmers but only a temporary lifeline because there can never be a capitalist state which will go against the interests of big capitalists. Therefore, if the confrontation between the movement and the state sharpens (on the possibility of which depends the victory of revolutionary kernel over external form) and the working class joins peasantry scientifically it will turn towards the joint demand of workers and peasants – eradication of capitalism. The possibility of such an outcome should not be rejected outright but anticipated and prepared for.

Till capitalism remains, the struggle of farmers against corporate will continue and sharpen. The party of working class should not only oppose farm laws but fully expose the working of capitalism comprehensively, i.e., among and with reference to all classes. This is the second precondition for this movement taking a revolutionary turn, first being the constant onward march of the movement till final victory for present demands, without which second precondition is meaningless.

Such an open expression of the contradiction between its external form and kernel in the middle of a still ongoing movement, like what is happening in case of current peasant movement in the very beginning indicates that the time of resolution of this contradiction is close. Hence, it is appropriate for the working class to pay attention to it and formulate its strategy and tactics accordingly.

Whatever the end result of this movement (even its complete collapse) cannot undermine its significance. Nothing can stop the impact of its kernel on the future peasant movements. Would the working class movement put its impact on it! If it couldn’t till now, it can and should do so now. The permanent crisis of capitalism and the ruin of farmers and onslaught of corporates on them in this period of fascist reaction, both are not going to end. Corporate onslaught on peasantry will continue till capitalism exists whichever party forms the government. Therefore, even more impactful and decisive struggles of farmers, every time in closer alliance and leadership of working class will and must take place in near future, this movement indicates. It is of utmost importance for working class and its party to understand that its task, in the period of movements of such kernel and high level, is to present itself and intervene as a class fighting to become future ruling class replacing capitalist class to show the path of emancipation to common peasants, and not to put forward economic demands as poor supplicants.

Supreme Court Order And The Farmers The farmers are naturally hurt by the 12th January order of Supreme Court to constitute a committee to review farm laws consisting of experts strongly supportive of these new farm laws. The farmers need to understand that in a class divided society, the justice meted out by the courts, functioning as a pillar of the existing capitalist system, cannot be supra-class or above class interests. The resolve of the farmers to continue agitation despite and against the desires of court order might violate the said court order, but it does not at all violate the idea of justice in accordance with the permanent forward march of the history. It needs be stated here that besides courts all of us are bound by the judgement of ‘history’, moral standing of which is supreme in this universe. The judgement pronounced by the court of history is not only not against farmers’ resolve but also with their just movement. ‘History’ already demands the removal of capitalist class obstructing its forward march from power and the driving seat of society. Let this judgement be executed as quickly as possible to defend this demand for protection of humanity.  

PRC CPI (ML) warmly welcomes this new awakening in the peasantry as a result of the farmers agitation and eagerly awaits its transformation into revolutionary consciousness and commits to all out efforts to make this transformation possible.

[Originally published in The Truth: Platform for Radical Voices of The Working Class (Issue 10 / February 2021)]

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