Sarhad peasant committee, North Hashtnagar advocated sale of state lands to landless peasants on installments. It also advocated assessment of water tax on the basis of income tax paid by landowners having more than 25 jareeb It also urged setting up mechanism to measure proper amount of irrigation water given to each landowner and to waiver of water tax on 12 and half acres of land. The programme of Sarhad peasant committee in North Hashtnagar was also to struggle for right to hold public meetings and form political associations.
Moreover, it also demanded grant of state land for mosques, schools, hospitals, and graveyards. The Bolshevik peasant programme favoured empowerment of courts bringing end to cruel practices of landlords upon bonded peasants and unjust rates of land rents. Similarly, program of Sarhad peasant committee, North Hashtnagar attempted bringing end to the excesses carried out by feudal lords and their supervisors Nazirs , stoppage of unpaid forced labour, and practice of giving feudal lords chicken and eggs as gifts.
It also worked for enabling peasants to solve their intra peasant problems among themselves. These courts not only solved intra peasant disputes but also between peasants and small landowners as well as regulated rates of land rent. Bolshevik Russian peasant programme of R. Numerous national progressive young men from NWFP who had studied at the University of Toilers, Moscow, in s and inspired by the Russian Bolshevism subsequently joined the spontaneous peasant movement of Ghalla Dher, in They collaborated with local peasant leaders and shaped list of peasant demands.
The peasant movements and their leaders were much influenced by local political movements such as the KKM and the Congress Socialist Party. Their struggle has been peaceful and political in nature.
Hence, the impact of these peasant movements remained limited. They advocated forbidding forced eviction, withdrawal of heavy taxes, fines and practices such as Tora and Malba taxes etc.
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However, impact of the Bolshevism was more explicit and profound on peasant movement launched in the North Hashtnagar in s. The movement had been more organized, leadership deeply influenced by Bolshevik Marxist ideology successfully evolved more advanced peasant programme than Ghalla Dher. Firstly, they succeeded in setting up a network of peasant committees in rural areas of North Hashtnagar and followed the principle of democratic centralism.
It also succeeded in getting socio-political and economic rights of peasants such as right to get education, holding public meetings, contest election, cast votes and right to sell and purchase land. Thirdly, Sarhad peasant committee strengthened alliance of lease-holding peasants, sharecroppers and agriculture workers, since basic conflict existed between big landlords and lease-holding peasants on the one hand and between big landowners and sharecroppers as well as agriculture workers on the other.
Fourthly, lack of urban workers and limited number of agriculture workers in North Hashtnagar drove peasants to form an alliance with small landowners too. It aimed at neutralizing small landowners preventing their siding with landlords. Sarhad peasant committee declared all those small landowners allies who were not involved in forced eviction of peasants, avoided unpaid forced labour, unjust taxes and paid proper amount of land rent and share in the yield to peasants.
Thus, isolated big landowners and attempted to enforce land reforms. This political strategy and tactics it seems has been Bolshevik. Since Bolshevik made an alliance of urban and rural proletariat and neutralized the peasantry to demolish autocracy in Russia. Although the movement failed in rooting out feudal landlordism in its entirety, however, it unified peasants into a force to be reckoned with.
Landlords were forced to make conciliatory agreements with peasants in terms of land sale deeds and as a result lost power and influence considerably. Material gains by peasants as a result of their struggle improved their financial conditions enabling them to provide better health care and education to their offspring. Numerous of them earned professional qualifications in medicine and engineering. Increased money-commodity relation also led to agrarian capitalism in terms of mechanized farming and use of fertilizers, better seeds and pesticides.
Also more democratic relationship in the rural areas emerged.
FROM MARX TO MAO
Office of the Tehsildar. Tangi district Charsadda. Department: Directorate of Archives. I; Serial No. AZ-4, Serial No. Ali, I. Ahmad, N. Sang-e-Meel Publications, Lahore. Atkinson, D.