New Delhi: Mian Singh, leader of the All India Kisan Sabha from Hisar, Haryana, who was arrested by the Haryana Police on November 25, for taking part in the agitation, was granted bail on November 27. After being released, he went straight to the Singhu border of Delhi to join the protesting farmers, who are demanding the repeal of the 3 ‘black’ laws.
Speaking with NewsClick, Singh said: "This movement is not only of the peasantry but of the working class as a whole. However, the peasants are fighting this battle of the general public."
Mian Singh said that if these laws are not withdrawn, then crores of farm labourers, poor labourers, retail traders and general consumers will be impacted. He said these laws, along with the conspiracy to end the mandi system, will help the capitalists by allowing them to have the desired storage, which will affect demand and supply and lead to hoarding by whoever has the financial muscle.
He gave an example of potatoes. “Look at the price of potato right now. In 2019-20, there was record production of potato at 50.19 tonnes. This year, 48.66 tonnes of production has been achieved. Even then the price of potato has skyrocketed while the farmer is getting only Rs. 2-2 per kg.”
Another farmer, who accompanied Mian Singh said these laws will only kill not only the farmer, but even the consumer, no one will be saved. “It is only the big capitalists who will benefit from it,” he said, adding that companies like WhatsApp, Google and Reliance were investing in retail business, “which will swallow small retail traders of our country.”
Jaswant Kaur, 70, who has come from Sangrur, Punjab, to the Singhu border in Delhi with a farmer group, challenged the government. “If this law comes, our children will end up in slavery of others. Our land is being given big corporates, which we will not allow."
Meanwhile, as the country witnesses the biggest peasant movement in the past two decades, farmer groups are firm on repeal of the laws, creating one of the biggest challenges for the Narendra Modi government in its six-year tenure.
While the next round of talk with the Centre is to be held on Saturday, the working group of AIKSCC has announced that on December 5, effigies of Prime Minister Modi and his corporate cronies will be burnt at around 5,000 places across the country.
The farmers are clear about settling for nothing less than the withdrawal of agricultural laws, while the government wants to quell the protests by making some amendments.
Most peasant leaders see this as nothing more than “whitewash” by the government. Most farmers NewsClick spoke to said these laws are not only a “death sentence” for the farmer, but also dangerous for the larger population of the country.