ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Communal Violence, 1998-Shifting Patterns

the peasants of Bagur-Naville area. However, Pranthia Sanghas or the Kisan Sabhas are not a big force in Karnataka; number of agitations that the AIKS has undertaken over the years are far and few. During 1970s the AIKS had the opportunity of becoming a big force by focusing on tenancy rent and price issues. It did conduct some major agitations during this decade such as anti-land grab movement, anti- price rise movement, agitations demanding higher prices for agricultural commodities, etc. Its demand included such issues as land to the tiller, effective famine policy, distribution of waste or surplus lands to the landless, implementation and amendment to land reforms act, moratorium on agricultural debts, reduction in water rates, and also implementing "living wages' to agricultural workers. However, these activities received a severe jolt because of the effective implementation of land reforms in certain pockets of Karnataka (Dakshina Kannada) where it had a strong base. The changing focus of party politics at the national level also had its effect on the agitational politics of the AIKS. The second opportunity came during 1980s when AIKS/Pranthia Raitha Sangha engineered the famous Navalgund- Nargund peasant struggle, which became the forerunner for new farmers' movement in Karnataka, Here too the AIKS or the Prantha Sangha failed to enlarge its bases because of a large number of factors such as the ambiguity in defining the contradictions, incapacity to provide a clear- cut direction to the struggle when it was badly in need of it, etc. Although in recent years the prantha sanghas/kisan sabhas have taken up the issues of farmers who committed suicide, it has not been able to create or provide larger spaces for the AIKS to become a big force. Even the Bagur-Naville struggle too could not create permanent bases.

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