The Zameen Prapt Sangharsh Commitee has secured a major victory after launching a sustained struggle ,in Jaloor village of Sangrur.It has managed to secure a lease for a 3 year period for 110 families to obtain 1/3rd Panchayat land. Noteworthy how the resistance has crystallised to be a major thorn in the flesh for the ruling classes.
Bikka Singh Hathuah and Gurdas Singh Jaloor adressed the villagers that although it was a triumph they should not be complacent and continuously wage struggle in the third phase. They summarized the significance of the progress in terms of the overall welfare of the agricultural labour. The ruling Aam Admi Party reduced the land auction prices by 50 %. and officials paved the way for the dalits to cultivate their own land.
Activists Makkhan Singh, Babbla Singh, Bir Singh, Bindu Singh, Rupa Singh and Kala Singh were also present.
One must applaud the consistency of the ZPSC in recent times in confronting the dummy auctions which magnified the selling price by 20% through launching boycott and organising meetings with the delegation so chief minister.Bhagwant Mann.
Since June 12th the govt awarded the land to the dalits on a 3 year lease. Noteworthy that Sangrur is the only region where 1/3rd panchayat land has been allocated, with a network established in around 7 villages. Earlier meetings were help with delegations of the Chief minister on June 4th-5th.
However we must be vary of the strategy of the Aam Admi Party who may deploy it to garner votes in the upcoming election by-poll in Sangrur.. Earlier the state govt.gave a complete cold shoulder to the demands of the agricultural dalit community for the land lease. Blind faith must not be placed on assurances of officials.
It is also important that the landed peasantry is won over as an ally and the struggle not reduced only at the level of caste. The overall tempo of the struggle must also be sustained, guarding against complacency.
Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist from Mumbai who has toured and reported democratic events and struggles in Punjab and attended programmes of the Zameen Prapt Sangharsh Commitee.