BJP Defaming Farmers' Movement, Will Appeal to People to Defeat it: SKM
After a marathon meeting for over six hours, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha on Friday said it will launch a nationwide campaign against the latest slander on the historic farmers' movement against controversial, now repealed, three farm laws. The FIR under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) against NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha and HR Head Amit Chakravarty infers that the farmers' movement was aimed at stopping the supply of essential goods for citizens and creating law and order issues.
Addressing a press conference at the Press Club of India in the national capital on Friday, the constituent organisations of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha said that the Narendra Modi-led RSS-BJP government has made baseless, dishonest and false allegations in the NewsClick FIR against the historic farmers' struggle.
The morcha leaders said that the farmers across the country will burn copies of the FIR on November 6 after a sustained campaign at the village level from November 1-5. The morcha leaders emphasised that it would appeal to people to defeat the BJP in five election-bound states. The farmers will also observe a three-day dharna at governor houses from November 26-28.
Hannan Mollah, one of the convenors of the morcha, said that the farmers' movement was a committed, patriotic movement, drawing parallels with 1857 and the freedom movement against foreign loot.
"It correctly read the nefarious plan of three farm laws to withdraw government support from agriculture and hand over farming, mandis and food distribution to corporations led by Adani, Ambani, Tatas, Cargill, Pepsi, Walmart, Bayer, Amazon and others."
He added that the three farm laws were thrust on the country: the contract law legally bound farmers to grow what the corporation would buy, would be contracted to purchase costly inputs (seeds, fertilisers, insecticides, fuel, irrigation, technology, services) and sell their crop to the company.
The Mandi Act forbade government operation, procurement and price fixation (MSP) to allow a nexus of big companies to dominate crop trade at the lowest price with online networking and private silos. The Essential Commodities Amendment Act allowed the freedom to hoarders and black marketeers.
He added, "The farmers of India read through this subterfuge. They exposed the RSS-BJP – Corporate plan of depriving the people of India of food security, pauperising the farmers, changing cropping patterns to suit corporations and allowing free penetration of MNCs into India's food processing market. They rose as one, as a wave in a turbulent ocean, surrounded Delhi and forced the stubborn Modi government to relent."
Baldev Singh Nihalgarh, one of the veteran farmer leaders, said that the farmers braved water cannons, teargas shelling, road blocks with huge containers, deep road cuts, lathi charges, and cold and hot weather to clinch victory.
He said that over 13 months, they sacrificed 732 martyrs.
"They lent voice to the most helpless and deprived sections of India and the voice for justice in media and courts. This was a patriotic movement of the highest quality in the face of repression by a fascist govt serving the interests of imperialist exploiters."
He said that farmers feed 1.4 billion people. They provide subsistence and work to 68.6% of the population.
"Government investment in agriculture infrastructure, promotion of profitable farming, development of the life of village poor and facilitation and securing modern food processing, marketing and consumer network under the collective ownership and control of peasant-worker cooperatives will bring a revolutionary change in peoples' economy. It will make India, as well as the people of India, rich."
Rajaram Singh, a farmer leader from Rajasthan, said the Modi government has used an undemocratic law, the UAPA, which allows the government to charge citizens of being terrorists, hence obviously anti-national, without having to prove that charge for decades, as even bail is denied.
"They have used UAPA to charge NewsClick media house, which wrote to support the farmers' movement. NewsClick only did the duty that true media should be doing- to report the truth, the problems of the farmers, and the united struggle. The BJP government is using the farcical FIR to spread a canard that the farmers' movement was anti-people, anti-national and backed by terrorist funding routed through NewsClick."
He added that it is factually wrong and mischievously inserted to portray the movement in a bad light and seek to exact revenge for the humiliating defeat they suffered at the hands of the farmers of our country.
He added that the BJP leaders cannot still grapple with the fact that it had to relent in front of the farmers' movement.
"Modi government, after having withdrawn the three black acts, is moving again now to falsely charge farmers' movement of being foreign-funded and sponsored by terrorist forces. All this while, RSS and BJP promote FDI, Foreign MNCs, and big corporations in agriculture. They are deeply committed to condemning and ruining Indian farmers."
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