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Assertion of Right to Life by coconut farmers of
April 17, 2001-Arsikere, Hasan, Karnataka

The KRRS has brought out a code of conduct, which seeks to regulate the activities of the organization in carrying out pro-farmer movements, including the "Neera Chaluvali" (1).

Releasing the code on the occasion of World Farmer's Day here on Tuesday, Pro.M.D.Nanjundaswamy, President, KRRS, said that farmers would observe maximum restraint in furthering their cause through such movements, and break laws peacefully whenever necessary.

The "Neera Chaluvali" (Neera Agitation) has been organized by KRRS to counter the fall in the prices of coconuts because of free imports of cheap Palm oil and coconut oil and also to fight the Eriophyd mite which has come from Mexico and supposedly introduced to India by the Palm-oil lobby that has affected the coconut yield throughout the states of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamilnadu.

Referring to the "neera chaluvali", he said the farmers had voluntarily broken the provisions of the Excise Act, and added that police too had committed excesses. He said the authorities were within their right to seize items used in the preparation of neera, but they should not destroy the coconut trees. He advised the farmers to form neera cooperative societies, and directed them to apply for permission as per the Karnataka Cooperative Societies Act, 1959 to open them.

Noting that coconut crop was the main cash crop in the region, he urged the farmers to start jaggery and vinegar production units. They could seek permission from the deputy Commissioner in this regard, and asked them to take the support of like-minded organizations for the purpose. He also advised the members of the "Green Brigade" of KRRS to ensure that no public property was destroyed while undertaking farmers' movements.

Prof.Nanjundaswamy also warned the District Magistrate, the District Excise Officers and the Police not to commit offences under colour of duty as otherwise they would have to face criminal prosecution. He was referring to the damage done by these District Officers to the coconut trees.

Hand-cuffs removed: Later in the day when the one hundred and seventy peasant Satyagrahis (2), who were arrested during the "Neera" agitation were brought to the court with hand-cuffs, the KRRS vehemently opposed it.

Prof.Nanjundaswamy himself appeared for the KRRS in the court and addressed arguments demanding the removal of hand-cuffs as it is opposed to the Right of Personal Liberty enshrined in the constitution. The Court immediately ordered removal of hand-cuffs from the Satyagrahis.


Peasant Satyagrahis

  1. Should have full faith in Truth and Non-Violence.
  2. Should fully believe that Man is basically good and not evil and should have faith in removing the temporary evil in their adversary through Truth and love in this ritual of Satyagraha.
  3. Should not get disturbed by any kind of provocation, should not lose patience but maintain the dignity of a Satyagrahi.
  4. Should be prepared to sacrifice even life for the sake of Truth. Fearlessness and Poise are the hallmarks of a Satyagrahi; should face the batons, the guns and the Prison peacefully and without fear.
  5. Should not complain about the lack of facilities in the prisons.
  6. Should not damage public property and himself/herself apprehend miscreants doing it.
  7. Should, in Road and Train blocades ensure that no property in Trains, Buses and Trucks are damaged and passengers are comfortable; and should not stop Ambulances, fire fighters, vehicles of doctors and hospitals.
  8. Should know that the Satyagraha is against the System and not just against the Police. Satyagrahis should treat Police as brothers.
  9. Should ensure that women Satyagrahis are in equal numbers.
  10. Should wear always green shawls as it is the symbol of peace and non-violence.



  1. "Neera" is the juice from the coconut tree, which is a beverage as well as a liquid from which honey, jaggery and Vinegar can be made.
  2. "Satyagraha" is the name given by Gandhi for Non-Violent Civil Disobedience. It means the " struggle for Truth"
  3. This Code, which was released by KRRS in 1980 was released again for the second generation of volunteers, the Green Brigade, who have joined the movement.

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