My America Tour -14

Telugu Original : Avula Gopala Krishna Murty (AGK)

English Translation: Komala Venigalla

International Peasants world

I visited many places and met many people in Washington DC. I went to the International Peasants office on 24  August, 1963.Their working committee meeting was going on. Former Premier of Poland Mr Slanya Lans Kolajusk was the chairman. Dr George Dimitrof – the chief secretary of the committee introduced me to the members present.

          The members present were: Dimitrof, Ferangi Nagi-Hungary Prime minister; Bela Bokar-secretary of International peasants committee; Harnikans Blajas-the editor of their news paper; DR Vland Komak-leader of Croatia farmers` party; Chi Sonimane- leader  farmers party of Czechoslovakia Republic; N. Narre Jarveslo, leader  small farmers party of Estonia; Balyans Perankhan from Lithuania; Joseph Letrich- leader democratic party of Slovakia; Dr Augustin Popo-leader farmer`s party of Romania; Dr Milan Gerilovich-leader, farmers` commission of Yugoslavia.

          I got an opportunity to address them over an hour. I answered to their various questions. The chairman in his concluding remarks said: ` Our  sympathies are with the farmers of your country. Please convey our good will to Mr N.G.Ranga and other farmers leaders. We all can overcome the obstacles faced by our farmers and farm laborers. Please convey our message of hope to your country.`

          I was in the midst of a special world of farmers. My speech too was special. They asked me to tell them about the laws of our country which trouble our farmers.

          I told them about native rulers in different states, formation of linguistic states, abolition of jamindari system . All of them are well versed with the world of farmers and their problems. Hence the questions were suitably answered by me.

          They asked me about the role of our planning commissions. I told them that they play a nasty role. They asked me who elected them.I told them that they were nominated by the Prime Minister and people pay for them. They were puzzled how could so much power given to the members not elected by any one, whether it was accepted by the constitution. I said that our constitution does not accept it but such things are made possible in Nehrus` government.

          They asked me for further explanation.

          I explained `Our democratic socialist leadership fixed a ceiling on the income of a farmer that it should not exceed Rs 5400 annually. N.G.Ranga and we Humanists questioned the government. When others have  a lot more income why should there be a ceiling on the farmers` income. The ministers, professionals are getting more salaries than  Rs 5400.In the businesses there was more money. Their aim was to control the farmers. Nehru was  determined to impose the ceiling on farmers. The decision was made by Congress party in Nagpur.

          The government made   240 laws newly controlling the farmers in various states. Some measured the ceiling in terms of acreage and some in terms of income. Frank Nagi interrupted me with his question.

          `Was not it much worse than in the communist countries especially Russia?

          I said -`you know it better than I do. I am talking about the situation in our country. In Poland , Yugoslavia, Russia they put ceiling on land not on the income. Hence a farmer can get any amount of money by growing a rich crop. But some of our states imposed restrictions on the crops grown` . They all laughed saying that their communists look better.

          Our government buys food grains and does business with it . They do not control  food corporations. They go on imposing laws on the farmers`.

          After seventeen years of our independence our government  is going to bring 17 th amendment to the Constitution calling ordinary lands as Estate lands. Government can buy them paying minimum priceThe farmer has no say in it. He cannot even approach the court of law for justice. We have toi   fight against it. N.G Ranga is working hard to stop it. `They asked me why Nehru lost faith in law courts. I replied that Nehru never expressed that he had faith in law courts. So he has nothing to lose now.They all exclaimed loudly when I said that.

          I told them that we don`t give more than Rs 3 ( 65 cents) a day to the farm laborer even in the busy season of  field labor. The laborers get work for 3 months in a year and rest of the year they have nothing to earn. They were all totally surprised at what I said.

          They remarked that we have not benefited with achieving  independence. I told them that there are benefits in certain sectors but not in the labor sector.

          The chairman while sending goodwill message said that ` we all should work for solution of the farmers problems. Dr George Dimitroff and Frank Nagi thanked me for participating in their meeting and enlightening them with problems of Indian farmers. I was surrounded by  a new world, I felt.

          Before concluding my views about agriculture in America I have to tell you briefly about their project called ` Tennessee valley authority.` They call it T.V.A. Tennessee is a big river in America. It originated in Minnesota State spreading to a large area in Tennessee State.

          T.V.A started  in 1903 as a first   Bill when Roosevelt was the president,  Pincaut and Megiwere  were two intellectuals who gave publicity to make it into a  law. In 1928 President Hoover rejected the law of Ncted the second law by Norms in 1933. Roosevelt accepted the third law by Norris in 1933 and it got  established as law.

          We saw Norris dam. President Roosevelt named it after Norris. Norris and Wheeler dams were ready by 1936. Tennessee electricity company was established in 1939. 22 municipalities, 11 cooperative bodies and some others got it established.

          T.V.A. has been the base for production of electricity, growth of food crops, improvement of fertilizers, solution of employment problems and industrial advancement .Results of these projects were enjoyed by the people in 42 thousand square mile area.

          Such projects laid foundation for the beginning of New Era in America. We can even say that America came into being from then on.


(to be continued…)

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