Farmers fear that the new laws will deprive them of their farming rights and they will lose their lands which will be grabbed by Modi’s capitalist friends.
By Rakesh Raman
Thousands of farmers participated in a rally today (September 5) at Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh (UP) in India to show their strength in the ongoing agitation against the government headed by prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi.
The venue at UP was purposefully selected by farmers to challenge the UP government of chief minister (CM) Adityanath who belongs to Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). As the UP Assembly election is scheduled to take place in early 2022, the farm leaders assert that their agitation in UP will harm BJP in the election and eventually Modi’s party will get defeated in the state.
Farmers – mainly from Punjab, Haryana, and UP states – have been protesting since November 2020 against the three farm laws recently announced by the Modi government. Their demands also include the legal guarantee by the government to give a minimum support price (MSP) for certain crops.
Farmers fear that the new laws will deprive them of their farming rights and they will lose their lands which will be grabbed by Modi’s capitalist friends. They expect the government to withdraw these laws and ensure MSP for their crops.
However, the Modi government has flatly refused to accept farmers’ demands. After holding some initial talks with the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) – the umbrella organization of nearly 40 protesting farm unions – the government has not called farmers for any meeting during the past many months.
Modi says that through the new farm laws, the Parliament of India has given a legal form to the agricultural reforms after a lot of deliberation. Protesters, however, argue that Modi is autocratically using his party’s majority in Parliament to impose anti-people laws.
As the stalemate persists, farmers have decided to expand their agitation in other parts of India by forming local units of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) in different states. Meanwhile, the farm unions have also given a call for Bharat Bandh (all-India blockade) on September 27 to highlight their demands and the agrarian crisis in India.
Farm leaders pledge that they will not end their agitation until the government accepts all their demands.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.
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