Industrialisation cannot be at the expense of farmers, says Yechury

C. Gouridasan Nair

KALPETTA: Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury has said the Left-ruled State government’s strategies for industrialisation should not harm peasants and jeopardise worker-peasant alliance.

Chairing a session ‘The Peasant Question and Contemporary Imperialism’ at the two-day seminar on ‘Global Financial Crisis and Indian Peasantry’ here on Sunday, Mr. Yechury said the CPI(M) and other Left parties could not be party to “primitive accumulation of capital” at the expense of the peasant and endangering the long-term strategy of worker-peasant alliance which was integral to the struggle for a people’s democratic revolution. The CPI(M) reworked the compensation package for Singur farmers whose land was taken over for industrialisation, for this reason, he pointed out.

The CPI(M) Polit Bureau member said the global financial crisis gave the revolutionary forces the opportunity to convert their defensive struggles to protect people’s rights into offensive struggles against capitalist forces. Capitalism was not going to emerge out of the current crisis as if nothing had happened. Historically, capitalism had emerged stronger from every crisis by destroying a lot of productive forces.

The process of primitive accumulation of capital, which implied reduction in the purchasing power of the producers outside the capitalist sector proper, would intensify. Simultaneously, capitalist forces were certain to exploit the third world countries. All this offered a rare opportunity for the Left to convert its defensive struggles into offensive struggles. The task before the working class in the country was to achieve this transition in the most effective manner, Mr. Yechury said.

Earlier, presenting a paper on the theme, economist Prabhat Patnaik said the working class must undertake the task of protecting the peasants and petty producers and ensure that the peasants did not lose land to speculative real estate interests or multinational corporations. The land question, he said, was essential to the democratic revolution. On the ground, the working class should integrate the land struggle with the struggle against imperialism, he added.

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