As farmers across the country are gearing up for the massive tractor rally in the national capital on Republic Day, January 26, as part of the ongoing struggle against the three contentious farm laws, in Kerala last-minute preparations are on to hold protests and marches across the state, along with other sections of society.
Under the banner of Kerala Samyuktha Karshaka Samithi (SKSK), farmers will hold a parade at 3 p.m at every panchayat and municipal centres across the state, along with students, youth, workers, women among others.
In Thiruvanathapuram, farmers will parade from SME School to Palayam Martyrs Column at 4 p.m, said KN Balagopal and Sathyan Mokeri, convenor and chairman, respectively, of SKSK, in a press statement.
The SKSK, which is the part of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), consists of various farmer organisations, including those affiliated to political parties that are the part of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF).
Ever since farmers, especially from Punjab and Haryana, had marched to Delhi and camped at Delhi borders, Kerala farmers have been in solidarity with their counterparts.
From December 12, 2020, SKSK had launched a relay protest at the Martyrs’ Column in Thiruvananthapuram. On December 23, such protests were launched in all district centres and have been going on since then.
Ahead of the Delhi Tractor Parade, on January 23, KSKS held a march to Raj Bhavan in Thiruvanthapuram in protest against the three contentious farm laws. Following the march, farmers launched a day and night satyagraha till January 25.
Farmers organisations across the country have marched and then launched satyagraha at all Raj Bhavans in their respective state capitals. “After three days of satyagraha, on January 26, Republic Day, the country would witnessed the largest protest ever since Independence,” said M Vijayakumar, state president of Kerala Karshaka Sangham, Kerala chapter of the All India Kisan Sabha.
Meanwhile, over 1,000 farmers have left for Delhi to join the agitating farmers who have been on the streets since November 26 amid biting cold. The first batch, with more than 500 farmers under the banner of Kerala Karshaka Sangham left for Delhi on January 11 from Kannur.
On January 10, farmers from various parts of the state had assembled at Kannur and left for Delhi by road. They joined the protests site at Shahjahanpur border, one of the five Delhi borders where farmers have been camping.
The second batch left on January 21 and also protesters at Shahjahanpur border. Though the first batch of farmers was scheduled to return to Kerala when the second batch reaches there, they have not. The Kerala farmers are in Delhi under the leadership of KN Balagopal, state secretary of Kerala Karshaka Sangham and KK Ragesh MP, Rajya Sabha and joint secretary of AIKS.
In Kerala, the farmer protests have been drawing massive solidarity from other sections of the society in their struggle against the three farm laws. Students organisations, such as the Students’ Federation of India, All India Students Federation, youth organisations like Democratic youth Federation of India, All India Youth Federation, trade unions, women’s organisations and political parties, including Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Kerala Congress (M), Janata Dal along with others have organised series of protests and marches.