Land preparation campaign forms part of Indian agrarian revolution
The revolutionary people of India celebrated last February the victory of the widespread land leveling campaign which started in 2011. Land leveling is preparing the land in order for fields to retain water from irrigation dikes similar to rice paddies in the Philippines. Land preparations form part of efforts to improve the backward state of agriculture and raise production in India’s countryside.
In the state of Bastar, in particular, peasants rely on rainfall. They can only plant crops in the proximity of ponds or wells. (A state in India is the equivalent of a region in the Philippines, but much larger.) A campaign to build paddies was started in 2011. People’s committees started the campaign to level wide swathes of land. Committees allotted 5 to 20 days of leveling per community. Before each campaign, investigation meetings are held to analyze the economic standing of people in villages and determine the class standing of families. These meetings determine who are most in need. Planning includes land leveling for martyrs and fighters of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army, the people’s army led by the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist). Every year, more than 1.5 lakh or 150,000 people energetically take part in these activities.
Everytime there is collective preparation of land, people’s health committees provide assistance. Red guerrillas also participate. Because there are no agricultural machines, everyone brings their own farm implements. Every night, people’s artists perform. On the last day of the activity, the committees slaughter a cow for the participants. Every year, local people’s governments allot funds for the activity which the CPI-Maoist likens to communal work.
In 2021, the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee resolved to sum up their 10 year experience in land leveling. All people’s committee are set to participate. The zonal committee covers the wide regions of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Telangana and Andhra.
The reactionary state was never happy with the agrarian reforms implemented anywhere in Dandakaranya. Over the past 10 years, at least six comrades were killed in onslaughts of state forces against these activities. Police forces illegally seize the medicine prepared for these activities. They intensify their attacks whenever people’s preparations for cropping are on the way. But people have devised creative means to deceive and lead the enemy’s attention from their activities.
(Based on a report by Comrade Amrut of the CPI-Maoist).