Grameena Pedala Sangham, Telangana State conference, is an important mile-stone


Forest and police officials in Telangana seek to evict poor peasnts, adivasis in perticular, fromlands theycultivatedfordecades, notwithsatnding the Forest Rights Act 2005 that assured them of their rights. Led by GPS, peopleareresistingand defending their land rights and right to livelihood

Grameena Pedala Sangham (GPS) (Organization of the Rural Poor, TS) is holding its sixth conference on 24th and 25th March, 2023 in Husnabad town, Telangana State. Thousands of the struggling rural poor from all parts of the State, including a large number of adivasis and women, will participate in the conference.

The venue Husnabad town is presently in the newly formed Siddipet district (earlier it was a part of the Karimnagar district) of Telangana state. It is about 150km away from Hyderabad city and is well connected by road.

On March 24, the program begins with a massive procession that starts at 4 PM from the local Agricultural Market Yard. Then there will  be a public meeting at 6PM in the ground adjoining the RTC Bus stand, said the General Secretary, G. Venkatadri, in a statement.

The need for exchange of experiences of various mass movements, particularly the experiences of the movements of the rural poor and the need for unity and solidarity between these movements which are spread over throughout the country cannot be overemphasized. Thus a few fraternal delegates and observers from other states are invited to join the conference. Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, apart from Andhra (residual state after bifurcation of  AP) are likely to be represented, it is reported.

It may be recalled that this conference was scheduled to be held in April 2020 but got postponed due to the pandemic.

The GPS has been working for over three decades in the undivided Andhra Pradesh (AP) State. Opposing the divisive, diversionary and disruptive policies of the ruling classes to divide the rural poor on the basis of caste, religion, region etc. and resisting the attacks and repression of the landed gentry and the state, it has many achievements to its credit. Thus it became an integral part in the day-to-day lives of the rural poor in many parts of the State.

After division of the state into residual AP and Telangana State (TS) in the year 2014, it has been working in both the states. It is the Telangana State conference that is now being held.

The objective of the GPS is to unite all the rural poor (landless laborers, poor and middle peasants etc.) into a single organization with the central slogan of “Abolition of Landlordism and Land to the Tiller.” Along with taking up the basic problems related to the land issue, GPS has been organizing the rural poor into struggles on various issues and forms of semi-feudal and landlord exploitation and oppression widely prevalent in the rural areas.

The plight and misery of the rural poor continues to be basically the same in all parts of the country including in TS. In this background, the policies of the present BJP-led government at the Centre, and of the TRS government in Telangana, particularly their policies in relation to the rural poor and those that have an impact on the rural poor will be discussed in the conference.

In addition, a review of the activities of GPS and the movements of the rural poor in different parts of the State will be taken up and the tasks of the movement in the present situation will be worked out. Delegates and representatives of the rural poor, from various districts, will take part in these deliberations.

***                          ***

A pamphlet issued by the GPS on the eve of the conference reads as follows:


Abolish landlordism!                                            Land to the tiller!

Make the 6th State Conference of GPS a success!

It is being held in Husanabad, Telangana State, on March 24-25

GPS (Grameena Pedala Sangham, Organization of Rural Poor) has been working for long with the objective of Agrarian revolution, ‘Abolish landlordism!  Land to the tiller!  being its central slogans. It has been organizing the rural poor on various problems they are facing and preparing them for struggles against landlordism. By uniting all the rural poor, irrespective of cast creed and region, it has been leading their struggles. This 6th State Conference of GPS is being held with a view to review the advancing movement and the related experiences, so as to consolidate the organization and further expand the struggles.

Despite their 75 years of rule post-1947, the ruling classes miserably failed in resolving the basic problems of the people, in particular those of the rural poor. The promises they made for the last 75 years to resolve their problems are still being repeated even today. Land distribution, eradication of poverty and unemployment, industrialization, education, health,  – all these issues continue to be harped on, and remain basically unresolved. That is the progress, drinking and irrigation waters, ee reason why they are still repeating the same old promises. The Congress Party that was in power at the Centre and in the State for most of the time failed to resolve their problems. Same is the case with the non-Congress parties –including the regional parties – that were in power for a considerable period. Why they failed is clear; they have all been serving the landlord classes, the big business, and the imperialists. They treated the people as mere vote banks. They never attempted to solve their basic problems. That is why they harp on the same old promises, even if there is some change in their forms and slogans. Land reforms, Land ceiling Acts, Act 1\70 for STs, tenancy laws, Forest Rights Act, Unemployment Allowance, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Housing schemes of various types, Health schemes etc – whatever enactments and schemes they brought about, there is no change in basic situation. That is why abolition of landlordism and Land to the tiller’ continues to be the Central slogans before the people.

The BJP that is now ruling at the centre is continuing the same old reactionary and anti-people policies and a fascist, autocratic rule which the Congress Party had pursued. As a part of such a rule, they are inciting, in their own ways, religious communalism, national chauvinism and jingoism. It is suppressing the powers of the State governments wherever other parties are in power. It is in recent past going to the extent of toppling those governments by brazenly adopting undemocratic and immoral methods.

As to the Telangana State Government, it has failed to distribute lands to the rural poor as promised. On the other hand it refuses to regularize, by issuing pattass (land-deeds), the lands – like the government lands, ceiling – surplus lands, Bhoodan lands, forest lands – which the peasants cultivated on their own for decades. The ‘Dharani’ scheme that it brought about in the name of stabilizing the land-holdings has created lot more problems. Simultaneously the forest officials are threatening to evict the tribal peasants (STs) from ‘Podu’ (shift-cultivation) lands they cultivated for decades, and to replace them with plantations and afforestation. Despite the FRA, brazen attempts are being made to evict the peasants from forest lands. The people are forced to stand up and wage relentless struggles so as to defend their lands.

Indriamma housing, Rahiv Gruhakalpa, Pucca housing scheme, Double bed room homes – such schemes with varied names are being promised for decades. But in practice, the governments are not tolerating when people built small homes on government lands. Even minimum amenities are denied to such people unless they wage struggles. Latest example is the case of the people of Vellugumatla in the suburbs of Khammam town. Same is the plight of people of various other districts like undivided Adilabad, Rangareddy, Warangal and Karimnagar districts. At the same time; the government is going all out on a fast track to provide vast lands to the gentry that are close to the ruling party, providing all facilities and concessions. This is the ground reality not withstanding all the propaganda and promises.

The peasantry is disheartened and disappointed with poor returns on agriculture that is hit by irregular rains and indebtedness, and lack of timely minimum support price (MSP) for their crops. Some of the peasants, indebted tenants in particular, are feeling helpless and committing suicides.

The youth are losing self-confidence with prolonged unemployment. If they have sufficient form land to cultivate, the majority of people living in the rural areas of this agrarian country would have had reasonable income, and some purchasing power. That in turn would facilitate industrialization and related employment. That alone is the real solution to joblessness.

It is indeed a fact that most of our problems would find a solution if the people had land to cultivate, supported by necessary farm inputs. But that is not simple within the existing landlord system. That is why the GPS is fighting with the central slogan of ‘abolition of landlordism and land to the tiller’. That was the agrarian revolutionary program given by our veteran Communist leaders, late Comrades Devulapalli Venkateswara Rao (DV) and Tarimal Nagi Reddy (TN). Let us carry forward the rural poor movement in the light of this programme. That is the objective of the 6th Conference of GPS being held on March 24-25 in Husanabad town of Siddipet district. We appeal to all the people and democrats to extend all the necessary help and cooperation for the success of this Conference.

***                       ***

The GPS is an organization with a  distinct approach

There have been kisan sanghs, i.e., farmers’ organizations, which often confined to issues like MSP, credit and input-output subsidies to the farming sector. Often the rural rich controlled the organizations with their own interests. Then there have been Khet Mazdoor Sanghs, i.e., of agricultural laborers, confined to labor rates, amenities and the like.

These two had mutually exclusive approaches: the farmers often complained of ‘high’ labor rates, whereas the enactments like those for statutory minimum wages for farm labor remained on paper, often with no revision for long years even on paper.

Both these forms of organizations had no place for the land question that is of crucial importance to India. There are theoreticians who quibble about absence of landlordism, or those deny existence of semi-feudalism.



There are those who insist it is all about capitalism in agriculture. In effect, all of them ignore or neglect the land question which they evade.  

There was a time the ruling class parties, Congress in particular, harped on land reforms and land distribution to the landless. Top experts, administrators,  social scientists, and  media writers too lent their voice.

Despite ‘land reforms’  enacted over the decades, the land question remained unresolved.

GPS insists it is the principal question not only for the rural poor but also the Indian economy as a whole. Its approach is to unite, into one organization, the rural poor – a term that includes the landless, land-poor, and middle peasants too. They include owner peasants, adivasis cultivating forest lands, and tenants also.

Experiences of past – Telangana (1946-51), Naxalbari and Srikakulam of late 1960s and 1970s – as well as recent peasant movements also indicate that it is THE way to carry forward the struggle. That was the line comrade DV Rao (1917-1984), veteran of Telangana (1946-51), insisted as the correct path, the path of agrarian revolution, for India. GPS believes and practises the same.  

Led by GPS, the rural poor, including adivasis, occupied thousands of acres of land in Telangana,  in recent past and are carrying forward their struggle, as part of agrarian revolution. This conference is an important mile-stone, it is believed.

(The author is a media person who contributed to  


See some past reports on GPS in

Conflict on podu lands in Telangana: cultivators in dismay – “We won’t leavethelands” they say cultivators-in-dismay-we-wont-leave-the-lands-they-say/

Adivasi pesants of Telangana led by GPS Conduct Dharna for landrights


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