Mumbai: Farmers and workers in Maharashtra gathered at all tehsil offices on January 14 morning to burn copies of the three ‘anti-farmer’ and four ‘anti-labour’ laws. All 35 districts are seeing protesting farmers on the Makar Sankranti, usually a festive time, with over a 100 organisations joining in.
In Ahmednagar, farmers gathered under banner of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), led by Ajit Dhavale and a number of activists from the district. They burnt copies of laws against farmers and labourers.
"Farmers and labour have joined hands in this battle against this government of crony capitalists. We have never seen this kind of anger in an otherwise patient and peaceful section of society. This unity will force Modi Sarkar to go back on the laws," said Navale.
In Mumbai's Thane, Sanjay MG and others of Jan Andolananchi Sangharsh Samiti burnt the copies of these legislations.
"We respect the Supreme Court. But our issues are with the (Narendra) Modi government and not the court. The government has brought these laws and it is duty of the government to repeal these laws. This protest will continue till the end," said Sanjay MG.
In Pune, a Kisan Baug Andolan is already going on. Protesters have daily agitating since December 8. Here, too, the copies of the controversial laws were burnt by protesters.
Similar protest reports are coming from Osmanabad, Aurangabad, Nanded, Beed, Parbhani, Sangli and Kolhapur test.
In a meeting held on January 12, all these organisations decided to intensify the farmers’ ongoing protest in Maharashtra and fixed January 14 as the date for burning the copies.
On January 18, women farmers will lead protests across the state as it is Mahila Kisan Diwas. From January 23 to 26, a sit-in protest will be held in Mumbai's Azad Maidan where protesters from all organisations of Maharashtra will participate. More than 25,000 protesters are expected to join in.
On Republic Day, the protesters plan to march to Raj Bhavan to submit a memorandum under the banner of 'Joint Farmers Labours Protest'.
Meanwhile, these organisations also decided to reach out to all villages to conduct awareness campaigns regarding the “anti-farmer and anti- labour” laws. The campaign will also appeal people to boycott all the products of corporate giants Ambani and Adani. A'Jio Bye Bye' protest will also launch during the campaign, the organisers said.
Some like-minded youth and students organisations are also expected to join the campaign. "These laws will result in large scale of unemployment. Therefore, an awareness campaign among youth and students is being planned. Farmers and labourers have woken up to the reality of the Modi government. Once they get support from youth and students, no government will be able to bring anti-people policies," said Pratibha Shinde of Janawadi Mahila Sanghatana.
The farmers’ protest is mainly consolidated in North India, especially Punjab, Haryana and West Uttar Pradesh. But this awareness campaign is expected to intensify the agitation in Maharashtra and raise issues that will impact farmers across states.