The 1930s witnessed the nation-wide awakening and organisation of the peasants and workers in India. The two nationalist mass movements of 1920-22 and 1930-34 had politicised the peasants and workers on a large scale.

The economic depression that hit India and the world after 1929 also worsened the conditions of the peasants and workers in India. The prices of agricultural products dropped by over 50 per cent by the end of 1932.

Employers tried to reduce wages. The peasants all over the country began to demand land reforms, reduction of land revenue and rent, and relief from indebtedness.

Workers in factories and plantations increasingly demanded better conditions of work and recognition of their trade union rights.


The Civil Disobedience Movement and the rise of the left parties and groups produced a new generation of political workers who devoted themselves to the organisation of peasants and workers.

Consequently, there was rapid growth of trade unions in the cities and kisan sabhas (peasants’ unions) all over the country, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Punjab.

The first all- India peasant organisation, the All-India Kisan Sabha, was formed in 1936 under the presidentship of Swami Sahajanand Saraswati.