As farmers from across the country gear up for a mass tractor-rally in Delhi alongside the ongoing protests against the three contentious Farm Laws, more than 500 farmers from Kerala left for the national capital on Thursday. The farmers, under the banner of Kerala Karshaka Sangham – the Kerala Chapter of the All India Kisan Sabha – are expected to join the protesting farmers at Delhi’s borders.
The first batch of more than 500 farmers had begun their march to Delhi from Kannur on January 11. The farmers from all districts had assembled at Kannur a day earlier and had left for Delhi the next morning by bus, with S. Ramachandran Paillai, vice president of the AIKS, flagging off the march. The farmers had reached Jaipur on January 14 and joined the protesting farmers at the Shahjahanpur border, one of the borders where farmers have been camping.
The second batch of farmers, however, left on Thursday by train. As many as 11 farmers boarded at the Ernakulam railway station. More are scheduled to board at various stations, said one of the protesters at Ernakulam.
The protests against the laws at all district centres, under the banner of the Samyukatha Karshaka Samithi, have been intensified across the state. The Kerala Samyuktha Karshaka Samithi, part of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), had launched a relay protest at the Martyrs’ Column in Thiruvananthapuram from December 12 in solidarity with protesting farmers across the country. On December 23, such protests were launched at all district centres across the state.
Photo from of an indefinite protest by Samyuktha Karsha Samithi at Thrissur.
The Kerala Samyuktha Karshaka Samithi consists of various farmers’ organisations, including the Kerala Karshaka Sangham (Kerala chapter of the AIKS), Karshaka Congress and other organisations. Kerala State Karshaka Thozhilali Union (KSKTU), a body of agricultural workers, has also been part of the ongoing protests across the state.
Protest venues at all districts have been witnessing massive solidarity from people from all walks of life. Trade union members, women, lawyers, teachers, student and youth organisations have been pouring into the protest venues extending their support and solidarity.
On January 18, the day which had been observed as women farmers’ day, tens of thousands women took part in the demonstrations under the banner of Janadhipathya Mahila Association, the Kerala chapter of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA).
Solidarity meetings involving students, youth, women and trade union members are still ongoing at various local levels across the state. Solidarity is being extended to the farmers in the form of small public gatherings, marches etc. Students, under the banner of the Student Federation of India, the youth under the banner of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and AIDWA have been leading these solidarity protests across the state.
SFI’s Kannur District Committee's march in solidarity with the protesting farmers.
The DYFI took part in a unique campaign in solidarity with the protesting farmers by planting vegetable seedlings. Through this campaign, the organisation aims to plant about 50 lakh seedlings across the state.