In Punjab today 7 lakh Dalit families are still landless and 1,50000 belong to the poor peasantry.Lakhs of acres of land is lying vacant and unavailable. If all land was distributed every Dalit family could possess at least 4 and a half acres of land.
In recent years the Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union has done some of the most commendable work on adressing the burning issues of dalit agricultural labour and building democratic revolutionary resistance against upper castes in the very backyard in Punjab. It has embarrassed the upper caste elements or politician sat the very core. At the very grassroots it has waged many a struggle for the dalit labourers right to procure 1//3rd land of a panchayat.In hundreds of village within Sangrur and those encircling the district land distribution has been carried out inspite of facing severe wrath from upper caste farmers who received patronage from the ruling party and police.
In recent months the KPMU has led a series of struggles in villages like Dhuri, Badli Kalan, Jaloor, Namol and Chajli.Sangrur region protecting the Dalit panchayat rights from the ruling class agents who had the connivance of the administration. Other issues redressed were for permanent employment and atleast 100 days of work for the agricultural labour,payment of minumum wages ,scrapping of all black laws ,a proper house and confiscation of al land of farmers having more than 17 acres in posession.The KPMU has also demanded ,awarding of 10 Marlas of land to every Dalit family, Regular employment, Prevention of Nazoor land being illegally sold by ruling class elements implementation of the 1970 land ceiling act which prevented anyone from owning more than 10 acres of land,and all land wards for Dalits to be made permanent. In recent times the KMPU intensely confronted land being auctioned to the agricultural labourers at a considerably higher rate than promised Thousands of acres of land in Punjab still lie fallow.Significant victories were won in procuring fair price for land auction.
In recent times the KMPU intensely confronted land being auctioned to the agricultural labourers at a considerably higher rate than promised. The landlords deployed their servants to perform dummy auctions of Shamlat land against which the dalits vociferously raised their voice. The landlords in collaboration with higher ups in the establishment got many auctions cancelled when dummy bidders failed to obtain land after the dalits resisted them.
In 2020 For 6 consecutive days from December 13th to 18th the Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union launched a prolonged struggle against the tyranny of the corporates who were responsible for grabbing the promised land of the dalit communityJams were held on roads at Delhi -Dhuri highway, in Sangrur-Ludhiana highway, in Patiala-Sangrur rd and ,Sunam -Bhiki rd. . A series of traffic jams and protest marches were launched all around Punjab exposing the fraudulent govt policies which backed the corporates and how the rulers endorsed any policy which acted against the interests of the dalit agricultural labour
I had the privilege of attending the programmes and even staying with the KPMU president Sanjeev Mintu.Even if not such a large organisation I was impressed with the qualitative work in redressing the caste opression.With meticulous organisational skill or methodology it penetrated the rural dalit base in huge cluster of villages ,building a network. In Mintu’s view there was glaring gap between the condition of the landed peasantry and the dalit agricultural labour with unity barely forged.With firm conviction he state that the agrarian movement in Punjab was deeply vitiated with economism, giving no deserved justice to the caste factor. I personally attended a meeting in village Dhuri where I first hand witnessed the plight of the Dalit community.In all the programmes I have attended I was impressed with the coordination of the student and youth community with the movement.
I am also impressed with the organisation’s approach towards combating the neo -fascism of the Bharatiya Janata party and giving solidarity to programmes condemning arrest or incarceration of ‘Urban Maoists. No stone was also left unturned in confronting goondaism which was challenged in it’s very backyard. In all its conferences organised it has illuminated the spark of revolutionary resistance at a crescendo, reflecting the anger simmering at a boiling point of the dalit community. Overall with painstaking work they have created the breeding ground for an agrarian revolutionary movement. The manner they bore the brunt organised counter resistance against attacks on their activists is commendable. The PMKU asserts that it is imperative that Brahmanical or Hindu fascism is confronted at the very base .It has done praiseworthy work in giving a firm grip to the dalit labourers on the Neo-fascist nature of India.
3RD KIRTI PANCHAYAT REPORT
The Third Kirti Panchayat staged on March 17th was further testimony of the dedication of the Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union to emancipate the dalit agricultural labour from clutches of tyranny.Around 2000 people participated giving vibrations of a spark turning into a prairie fire,literally painting the venue red. Even if quantitatively not so large, qualitatively a good achievement .Significant that it received support from sections like landed peasantry ,industrial workers and the unemployed teachers.
The 3rd Kirti Panchayat was organised by Krantikari Pendu Madur Union at Grain Market of village Mahila Chowk. People started arriving at grain market in the morning and in the afternoon the whole pandal was fully packed. People of 70 village of different blocks of Sangrur district like Dhuri, Sunam, Sherpur, Lehragaga, Cheema, Longowal were present in the Kirti Panchayt. Besides them people from Mansa, Patiala, Budhlada,Patra,Barnala,Nihal Singh Wala, Moga also participated in the Kirti Panchayat.
The Kirti Panchayat was started with paying tributes to the martyrs by keeping one minute silence. Baljit Singh, Jagraj Singh Tallewal, Bimal Kaur, Sandeep Kaur, Darshan Singh Fatehgarh, Ginder Rode were involved in the presiding board for the smooth functioning of the Kirti Panchayat.
People’s Theater Lehragaga performed the drama ‘Donkey and Lion based on the life of labourers. State president of K P M U Sanjeev Mintu said in his welcome adress that Kirti Panchayat is being held at the times when there is an undeclared emergency and every decent voice is being suppressed by fascist Modi government.
Leaders said three anti farmer laws and amendments in labour laws are against the entire humanity so all the patriot citizens should oppose them.
After it KPMU’s state leader Dharmpal said in his adress that without ending the unequal distribution of means of production honour and reverence of landless rural Dalits is impossible. The land struggle that started from village Benra in Sangrur district in 2008 has now spreaded over many other districts of Punjab but the nexus of police , politions, goondas and ghram chodaries of villages do not want this movement of landless people go ahead . That’s why they do lethal attacks on KPMU leaders. Without giving befitting reply to these atacks the movement of landless Dalits and poor pesantry can not be taken forward.
State Leader Pargat Singh Kalajhar said that this Kirti Panchayat invites the movement of rural Dalit landless and small poor farmers to make strong efforts to collect one third of land for rural landless Dalits at a reduced rate and the other two parts for small and poor farmers. Provision of Rs. 5 lakhs each for construction of 10 Marla plots, Maganrega, unconditional loans to Dalit landless by making them members of cooperative societies and waiver of all kinds of loans, cancellation of Electricity Bill 2020 and to strongly implement the Land Demarcation Act.
In the end KPMU state leader Lakhvir Singh Longowal thanked all the participants and many important resolutions as the huge increase in petrol, diesel and cooking gas prices, to take stringent action against those who tied up and beat up Dalit children at village Bhasaur, and support for
ETT TET and B.Ed TE T pass unemployed teachers which were passed unanimously by all. Apart from the above, leaders of fraternal organizations Harbhajan Butter, State Senior Vice President of Krantikari Kisan Union, Gurwinder Singh, State Press Secretary of Punjab Radical Students Union, Swaranjit Singh state president Revolutionary Democratic Front (punjab) , and Rampal Moonak of Azad Paledar workers union were also present on the occasion. The duty of stage secretary was performed by Balwinder Singh Jaloor.
The Kirti Panchayat was concluded with loud resounding slogans in full swing. This Kirti Panchayat was completely successful in delivering its message . The Village Committee of the Krantikari Pendu Mazdur Union (Punjab) played an important role in making the Kirti Panchayat a success.
Harsh Thakor is a political commentator or freelance Journalist who has toured India ,particularly Punjab and written articles on democratic blogs like ‘Ottos War Room’ and ‘Democracy and Class Struggle.’ and ‘Frontier weekly’ on a range of topics. Emailemail@example.com