Farmers from Kerala held evening dharnas and meetings at all panchayats across the state in solidarity with the farmers at the forefront of the struggle against the contentious Farm Laws on Friday. The panchayat-wise programme, held under the banner of the Samyuktha Karshaka Samithi, witnessed participation of people from all sections of society.
As part of the solidarity meeting and dharna, the participants pledged support to the farmers’ movement for their livelihood. “We declare our solidarity with the historic agitation by millions of farmers fighting against the three Farm Laws that are mortgaging the agrarian nation of India to monopolistic capitalists and corporates,” their pledge read.
“The Sangh Parivar government is using even the courts to suppress the agitation against the anti-people and anti-farmer laws. This is evident from the fact that everyone on the four-member expert panel appointed by the Supreme Court supported the anti-farmer Bills. The laws were passed in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha bypassing parliamentary rules and proceedings. We pledge to carry forward the fight to protect Indian democracy and the Constitution,” the pledge further read.
Earlier, in a statement, Sathyan Mokeri, chairman of the Samyukta Karshaka Samithi (SKS) and K.N. Balagopal, its convenor, said that the organisation would intensify their protest going forward.
They said that the people had realised that the Central Government was not ready to repeal the controversial laws and that the apex court’s intervention in the matter was to “divert” from the agrarian struggle and “sabotage” the agitation. Past experience has shown that the SC can allow this temporary law to be implemented at any time if the farmers withdraw from the strike, they said.
As farmers’ organisations from across the country intensify their struggle, the SKS has also decided to follow suit. They will observe January 18 as Women's Farmers' Day as well. Day and night satyagrahas will be held in front of the Raj Bhavan between January 23 and 25. The Joint Farmers’ Committee has also decided to hold a farmers’ parade on Republic Day.
Kerala Samyuktha Karshaka Samithi, which is part of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), has been observing a relay protest at the Martyrs’ Column in Thiruvananthapuram from December 12 in solidarity with protesting farmers. Later, on December 23, such protests were launched at all district centres across the state, taking place every day from 10 am to 7 pm.
The protests, which are garnering mass support have people from all walks of life. SKS also has various farmers’ organisations, including Kerala Karshaka Sangham (Kerala chapter of All India Kisan Sabha) and Karshaka Congress along with other organisations, within its fold.
Also, the first batch of farmers from Kerala – who were headed to Delhi to take part in the protest – have reached at Shahjahanpur border. More than 500 farmers under the banner of Kerala Karshaka Sangham – Kerala chapter of the All India Kisan Sabha – began the march to Delhi on January 11 at 9 am from Kannur.
Though over 1,000 farmers from Kerala were supposed to leave for Delhi to join the agitating farmers, who have been on the streets since November 26 amid the biting cold, only the first batch has left. The second batch is expected to leave on January 21.