All India Kisan Sabha

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For the earlier Kisan Sabha, see Kisan Sabha (1919-1922).

All India Kisan Sabha (All India Peasants Union, also known as the Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha), was the name of the peasants front of the undivided Communist Party of India (CPI), an important peasant movement formed by Sahajanand Saraswati in 1936, and which later split into two organizations known by the same name.


The Kisan Sabha movement started in Bihar under the leadership of Sahajanand Saraswati who had formed in 1929 the Bihar Provincial Kisan Sabha (BPKS) in order to mobilise peasant grievances against the zamindari attacks on their occupancy rights, and thus sparking the Farmers' movement in India [1][2]

Gradually the peasant movement intensified and spread across the rest of India. The formation of Congress Socialist Party (CSP) in 1934 helped the Communists to work together with the Indian National Congress, however temporarily,[3] then in April 1935, noted peasant leaders N. G. Ranga and E. M. S. Namboodiripad, then secretary and joint secretary respectively of South Indian Federation of Peasants and Agricultural Labour, suggested the formation of an all-India farmers body,[4] and soon all these radical developments culminated in the formation of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) at the Lucknow session of the Indian National Congress on April 11, 1936 with Saraswati elected as its first President,[5] and it involved people such as Ranga, Namboodiripad, Karyanand Sharma, Yamuna Karjee, Yadunandan (Jadunandan) Sharma, Rahul Sankrityayan, P. Sundarayya, Ram Manohar Lohia, Jayaprakash Narayan, Acharya Narendra Dev and Bankim Mukerji. The Kisan Manifesto released in August 1936, demanded abolition of the zamindari system and cancellation of rural debts, and in October 1937, it adopted red flag as its banner.[4] Soon, its leaders became increasingly distant with Congress, and repeatedly came in confrontation with Congress governments, in Bihar and United Province.[4][6]

In the subsequent years, the movement was increasingly dominated by Socialists and Communists as it moved away from the Congress,[2] by 1938 Haripura session of the Congress, under the presidency of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the rift became evident,[4] and by May 1942, the Communist Party of India, which was finally legalized by then government in July 1942,[7] had taken over AIKS, all across India including Bengal where its membership grew considerably.[6] It took on the Communist party's line of People's War, and stayed away from the Quit India Movement, which started in August 1942, though this also meant its losing its popular base. Many of its members defied party orders and joined the movement, and prominent members like Ranga, Indulal Yagnik and Saraswati soon left the organisation, which increasing found it difficult to approach the peasants without the watered-down approach of pro-British and pro-war, and increasing its pro-nationalist agenda, much to the dismay of the British Raj which always thought the Communists would help them in countering the nationalist movement.[8]

The Communist Party of India split into two in 1964. Following this, so too did the All India Kisan Sabha, with each faction affiliated to the splinters.

Present organisations[edit]

Currently two organizations work under the name of AIKS:

Further reading[edit]

  • Swami Sahajanand and the Peasants of Jharkhand: A View from 1941 translated and edited by Walter Hauser along with the unedited Hindi original (Manohar Publishers, paperback, 2005).
  • Sahajanand on Agricultural Labour and the Rural Poor translated and edited by Walter Hauser Manohar Publishers, paperback, 2005).
  • Religion, Politics, and the Peasants: A Memoir of India's Freedom Movement translated and edited by Walter Hauser Manohar Publishers, hardbound, 2003).
  • Swami And Friends: Sahajanand Saraswati And Those Who Refuse To Let The Past of Bihar's Peasant Movements Become History By Arvind Narayan Das, Paper for the Peasant Symposium, May 1997 University Of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
  • AIKS (All India Kisan Sabha), Proceedings and Resolutions, 1954–1959, New Delhi.
  • AIUKS (All-India United Kisan Sabha), 1949, The Programme and Charter of Kisan Demands, Patna.
  • Bagchi, A.K., 1976, `Deindustrialisation in Gangetic Bihar, 1809- 1901' in Essays in Honour of Prof. S.C. Sarkar, New Delhi.
  • Banaji, Jairus, 1976, "The Peasantry in the Feudal MOde of Production: Towards an Economic Model", Journal of Peasant Studies, April.
  • Bandopadhyay, D., 1973, `Agrarian Relations in Two Bihar Districts', Mainstream, 2 June, New Delhi.
  • Banerjee, N., 1978, `All the Backwards', Sunday, 9 April, Calcutta. Bihar, 1938, Board of Revenue, Average Prices of Staple Food Crops from 1888, Patna.
  • Bihar, 1939, Legislative Assembly Proceedings, Vol. 4 Part 1, 16 January—15 March, Patna.
  • Bihar, 1972, Legislative Assembly, Report of the Committee to Inquire into Atrocities at Gahlaur, Patna.
  • Bihar & Orissa, Rev(enue) Pro(ceedin)gs, 1923, Progs. No.3, Enclosure 1, Letter from Settlement Officer, Santal Parganas, 12 October 1923, para 2.
  • Bihar & Orissa 1924, Bihar and Orissa in 1923, Patna.
  • Bihar & Orissa, 1926, Bihar and Orissa in 1924-25, Patna.
  • Bihar & Orissa, 1929, Bihar and Orissa in 1927-28, Patna.
  • Bihar & Orissa, 1930, BIhar and Orissa in 1928-29, Patna.
  • Bihar & Orissa, 1934, Report on the Administration of Civil Justice in the Province of Bihar and Orissa, 1933, Patna.
  • BPKS (Bihar Provincial Kisan Sabha), 1936, Bihar Prantiya Kisan Sabha ka Vidhan -- (Constitution of the Bihar Provincial Kisan Sabha), in Hindi, Patna.
  • BPKS, -- a, Bihar Prantiya Kisan Sabha ka Ghoshna Patra aur Kisanon ki Maangen (Manifesto of the BPKS and Peasants' Demands), in Hindi, Bihta, n.d.
  • Brahmanand, 1971, Rahul Sankrityayana, in Hindi, Delhi.
  • Judith M. Brown, 1972, Gandhi's Rise to Power: Indian Politics, 1915–1922, London.
  • BSCRO (Bihar State Central Records Office) File 281/1929, Political (Special) Department, Sonepur Mela Kisan Sabha Meeting.
  • BSCRO, File 34/1931, Letter of N.F. Peck, Shahabad District Magistrate dated 15 December 1931.
  • BSCRO, File 21/1933, Agrarian Affairs, Kisan Sabhas.
  • BSCRO, File 163/1934, Notes and Orders on Swami Sahajanand's Gaya Report, 12 November 1934.
  • BSCRO, File 16/1935, Extract from Fortnightly Report of the Commissioner of Bhagalpur, 4 April 1935.
  • BSCRO, File 16/1935, Fortnighly Report from J.R. Dain, Commissioner of Bhagalpur, 2 December 1935.
  • BSCRO, File 16/1935(I), report on Swami Sahajanand, Nasirganj, Shahabad district, 18 January 1935.
  • Chaudhuri, B.B., 1971, `Agrarian Movements in Bengal and Bihar, 1919-1939' in B.R. Nanda, ed., Socialism in India, New Delhi.
  • Chaudhuri, B.B., 1975, `The Process of Depeasantisation in Bengal and Bihar, 1885-1947', Indian Historical Review, 2(1), July, New Delhi.
  • Chaudhuri, B.B., 1975a, `Land Market in Eastern India, 1793-1940', Indian Economic and Social History Review, 13 (1 & 2), New Delhi.
  • Chaudhuri, B.B., 1976, `Struggle for Produce Rent in Bihar, 1793- 1930', Paper presented to Seminar at A.N.S. Institute of Social Studies, Patna, Cyclostyled.
  • Collins, A., 1927, Bihar and Orissa in 1925-26, Patna.
  • Arvind Narayan Das, 1976, `Promises to Keep', National Labour Institute Bulletin, December, New Delhi.
  • Arvind Narayan Das, 1981, Agrarian Unrest and Socio-economic Change in Bihar, 1900-1980, Delhi : Manohar.
  • Arvind Narayan Das (ed.),1982, Agrarian Movements in India : Studies on 20th Century Bihar, London : Frank Cass.
  • Datta, K.K., 1957, History of the Freedom Movement in Bihar, Patna.
  • Devanand, Swami, 1958, Virat Kisan Samaroh (Massive Peasant Convention), in Hindi, Bihar Kisan Sangh, Bihta.
  • Diwakar, R.R., ed., 1957, Bihar Through the Ages, Patna.
  • Engels, Frederick, 1969, "Preface to the Second Edition of The Peasant War in Germany" in Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels, Selected Works, Vol. II, Moscow.
  • Walter Hauser, 1961, `Peasant Organisation in India: A Case Study of the Bihar Kisan Sabha, 1929-1942'. Ph.D. Thesis, Chicago University, (Forthcoming publication)
  • India, 1976, Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, New Delhi. JSES (Journal of Social and Economics Studies), 1976, `Sarvodaya and Development', Vol. IV No.1, Patna.
  • Lacey, G. 1928, Bihar and Orissa in 1926-27, Patna
  • Maharaj, R.N., 1976, `Freed Bonded Labour Camp at Palamau', National Labour Institute Bulletin, October, New Delhi.
  • Mansfield, P.T., 1932, Bihar and Orissa in 1930-31, Patna.
  • Marx, Karl, 1973 Grundrisse, Harmondsworth.
  • Mishra, G., 1968. `The Socio-economic Background of Gandhi's Champaran Movement', Indian Economic and Social History Review, 5(3), New Delhi.
  • Mishra, G., 1978, Agrarian Problems of Permanent Settlement: A Case Study of Champaran, New Delhi.
  • Misra, R.N., 1952, Kisan ki Samasyayen (Problems of Peasants), in HIndi, Darbhanga.
  • Mitra, Manoshi, 1983, Agrarian Social Structure in Bihar: Continuity and Change, 1786–1820, Delhi : Manohar.
  • Mitra, N., ed, 1938, Indian Annual Register, July–December 1937, Vol. II, Calcutta.
  • Narayan, K., 1938, Bihar and Orissa in 1935-36, Patna.
  • O'Malley, L.S.S., 1913, District Gazetters, Calcutta.
  • Owen, G.E., 1922, Bihar and Orissa in 1921, Patna.
  • Pouchepadass, J., 1974, `Local Leaders and the Intelligentsia in the Champaran Satyagraha', Contributions to Indian Sociology, New Series, No.8, November, New Delhi.
  • Prasad, P.H., 1979, `Semi-Feudalism: Basic Constraint in Indian Agriculture' in Arvind N. Das & V. Nilakant, eds., Agrarian Relations in India, New Delhi.
  • Prior, H.C., 1923, Bihar and Orissa in 1922, Patna.
  • Rai, Algu, 1946, A Move for the Formation of an All-Indian Organisation for the Kisans, Azamgrah.
  • N. G. Ranga, 1949, Revolutionary Peasants, New Delhi.
  • Swami Sahajanand, 1916, Bhumihar Brahman Parichay (Introduction to Bhumihar Brahmins), in Hindi, Benaras(?)
  • Swami Sahajanand, 1940, Address of the Chairman, Reception Committee, The All India Anti-Compromise Conference, First Session, Kisan Nagar, Ramgarh, Hazaribagh, 19 & 20 March 1940, Ramgarh, 1940.
  • Swami Sahajanand, 1944, Presidential Address, 8th Annual Session of the Kisan Sabha, Bezwada.
  • Swami Sahajanand, 1947, Kisan Sabha ke Sansmaran (Recollections of the Kisan Sabha), in Hindi, Bihta.
  • Swami Sahajanand, 1952, Mera Jeewan Sangharsha (My LIfe Struggle), in Hindi, Patna.
  • Swami Sahajanand, a, Brahman Samaj ki Sthiti (Situation of the Brahmin Society) in Hindi, Benaras (?), n.d.
  • Swami Sahajanand, -c, Jhootha Bhay Mithya Abhiman (False Fear False Pride), in Hindi, Patna(?).
  • Swami Sahajanand, -d, Kisanon ko Phansane ki Taiariyan (Plans to Ensnare Peasants), in Hindi, Bihta.
  • Swami Sahajanand, -e, The Origin and Growth of the Kisan Movement in India, Bihta, Unpublished ms.
  • Swami Sahajanand, -f, Gaya ke Kisanon ki Karun Kahani (Pathetic Plight of the Peasants of Gaya), in Hindi, Patna (?)
  • Sahajanand, Swami, -g, Khet Mazdoor (Agricultural Labourer), in Hindi, written in Hazaribagh Central Jail. See Hauser Walter, op cit.
  • The Searchlight (Patna) (newspaper).
  • Shanin, Teodor, 1978, "Defining Peasants: Conceptualisations and Deconceptualisations: Old and New in a Marxist Debate", Manchester University.
  • Singh, K.S., n.d. `Agrarian Transition in Chotanagpur', Unpublished ms.
  • Indradeep Sinha, 1969, Sathi ke Kisanon ka Aitihasic Sangharsha (Historic Struggle of Sathi Peasants), in Hindi, Patna.
  • Solomon, S., 1937, Bihar and Orissa in 1934-35, Patna.
  • Stevenson Moore, C.J., 1901, Final Report on the Survey and Settlement Operations in Muzaffarpur District, 1892–99, Calcutta.
  • Sudhakar, T.S., 1973, Lok Nayak Sswami Sahajanand Saraswati, in Hindi, Gaya.
  • Sudhakar, T.S. --, Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayana, in Hindi, Gayaa.
  • Swanzy, R.E., 1938, Bihar and Orissa District Gazetteers, Patna.
  • Sweeney, J.A., 1922, Final Report on the Survey and Settlement (Revision) Operations in the District of Champaran, 1913–19, Patna.
  • Wasi, S.M., 1938, Bihar in 1936-37, Patna
  • Williams, R.A.E., 1933, Bihar and Orissa in 1931-32, Patna.
  • Gupta, R.L., 1934, Bihar and Orissa in 1932-33, Patna.
  • Sathi ke Kisanon ka Aitihasic Sangharsha by Indradeep Sinha (Historic Struggle of Sathi Peasants), in Hindi, Patna (1969).
  • Socialism in India, by Bal Ram Nanda, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Published by Vikas Publications, 1972.Page 205.
  • A History of the All India Kisan Sabha, by Md. Abdullah Rasul. Published by National Book Agency, 1974.
  • Peasants in History: Essays in Honour of Daniel Thorner, by Eric J. Hobsbawm, Daniel Thorner, Witold Kula, Sameeksha Trust.Published by Oxford University Press, 1981.
  • Bihar Peasantry and the Kisan Sabha, 1936-1947, by Rakesh Gupta. Published by People's Pub. House, 1982.
  • The Clarion Call of Patna: Golden Jubilee Session of the All India Kisan Sabha, Patna, May 17–19, 1986, by All India Kisan Sabha Golden Jubilee Session. Published by The Sabha, 1986.
  • All India Kisan Sabha (2 Volumes), by O P Ralhan (ed.). Published by Anmol Publications Pvt. Ltd. 1998. ISBN 978-81-7488-403-9.
  • The Constitution of All India Kisan Sabha Encyclopaedia of Political Parties, by O. P. Ralhan, Published by Anmol Publications Pvt. Ltd., 2002. ISBN 81-7488-865-9. Page 1-10.


  1. ^ Bandyopādhyāya, Śekhara (2004). From Plassey to Partition: A History of Modern India. Orient Longman. pp. 523 (at p 406). ISBN 978-81-250-2596-2. 
  2. ^ a b Peasant Struggles in India, by Akshayakumar Ramanlal Desai. Published by Oxford University Press, 1979. Page 349.
  3. ^ Peasants in India's Non-violent Revolution: Practice and Theory, by Mridula Mukherjee. Published by SAGE, 2004. ISBN 0-7619-9686-9. Page 136.
  4. ^ a b c d Mahatma Gandhi, by Sankar Ghose. Published by Allied Publishers, 1991. ISBN 81-7023-205-8. Page 262.
  5. ^ Bandyopādhyāya, Śekhara (2004). From Plassey to Partition: A History of Modern India. Orient Longman. pp. 523 (at p 407). ISBN 978-81-250-2596-2. 
  6. ^ a b States, Parties, and Social Movements, by Jack A. Goldstone. Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-521-01699-1. Page 192.
  7. ^ Caste, Protest and Identity in Colonial India: The Namasudras of Bengal, 1872-1947, by Shekhar Bandyopadhyaya. Routledge, 1997. ISBN 0-7007-0626-7. Page 233.
  8. ^ Peasants in India's Non-violent Revolution: Practice and Theory, by Mridula Mukherjee. Published by SAGE, 2004. ISBN 0-7619-9686-9. Page 347.