All India Kisan Sabha (Ajoy Bhavan)

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All India Kisan Sabha is the peasant or farmers' wing of the Communist Party of India. The Kisan Sabha movement started in Bihar under the leadership of Swami Sahajanand Saraswati, who had formed in 1929 the Bihar Provincial Kisan Sabha (BPKS) to mobilise peasant grievances against the zamindari attacks on their occupancy rights.[1]

Gradually the peasant movement intensified and spread across the rest of India. All these radical developments on the peasant front culminated in the formation of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) at the Lucknow session of the Indian National Congress in April 1936, with Swami Sahajanand Saraswati elected as its first president.[2] The other prominent members of this Sabha were N.G. Ranga, Ram Manohar Lohia, Jayaprakash Narayan, Acharya Narendra Dev and Bankim Mukerji, and it involved prominent leaders like N.G. Ranga, E.M.S. Namboodiripad, Pandit Karyanand Sharma, Pandit Yamuna Karjee, Pandit Yadunandan (Jadunandan) Sharma, Rahul Sankrityayan, P. Sundarayya, Ram Manohar Lohia, Yogendra Sharma and Bankim Mukerji. The Kisan Manifesto, released in August 1936, demanded abolition of the zamindari system and cancellation of rural debts; in October 1937 it adopted the red flag as its banner.[3] Soon, its leaders became increasingly distant with Congress and repeatedly came in confrontation with Congress governments, in Bihar and United Province.

In the subsequent years, the movement was increasingly dominated by Socialists and Communists as it moved away from the Congress. By the 1938 Haripura session of the Congress, under the presidency of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the rift became evident[3] and, by May 1942, the Communist Party of India, which was finally legalised by the government in July 1942,[4] had taken over AIKS all across India, including Bengal where its membership grew considerably.[5] 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 losing its popular base. Many of its members defied party orders and joined the movement. Prominent members like N.G. Ranga, Indulal Yagnik and Swami Sahajananda soon left the organisation, which increasingly 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 though Communists would help them in countering the nationalist movement.[6]

The Communist Party of India (CPI) split into two in 1964; following this, so did the All India Kisan Sabha, which each faction affiliated to the splinters.


  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. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ a b Mahatma Gandhi, by Sankar Ghose. Published by Allied Publishers, 1991. ISBN 81-7023-205-8. Page 262.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ States, Parties, and Social Movements, by Jack A. Goldstone. Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-521-01699-1. Page 192.
  6. ^ Peasants in India's Non-violent Revolution: Practice and Theory, by Mridula Mukherjee. Published by SAGE, 2004. ISBN 0-7619-9686-9. Page 347.