As the farmers’ protests against the three contentious farm laws are intensifying across the country, farmers from Kerala have launched an indefinite protest at the Martyrs’ column in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday, December 12.
The indefinite protest is progressing under the banner of Kerala Samyuktha Karshaka Samithi, which is part of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC). Kerala Samyuktha Karshaka Samithi consists of various farmers’ organisations including Kerala Karshaka Sangham (Kerala chapter of All India Kisan Sabha), Karshaka Congress along with other organisations.
Launching the indefinite protest, S Ramachandran Pillai, national vice-president of the All India Kisan Sabha and Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, said the farmers’ fight is for the right to life. Urging all sections of the society to stand united against the flawed policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government, Pillai said, “If the BJP attempts to fight the agitation politically, it will be the beginning of the end of BJP rule. The BJP should correct its policies.”
“For majority of the farmers, farming has become an unprofitable enterprise. Agricultural costs have shot up, but there has been no corresponding increase in agriculture incomes, courtesy the pro-corporate policies of the Centre,” he added.
Members of the Samyuktha Karshaka Samithi are also continuing to protest every day in front of the Martyr’s column from 10 AM to 7 PM. As the protest entered its fourth day, similar protests are being held across various districts. Kerala State Karshaka Thozhilali Union (KSKTU), a body of agricultural workers, is also the part of the ongoing protests across the country.
Also read: Protests Sweep Kerala ahead of November 26 General Strike against New Labour and Farm Laws
On Monday, December 14, protests were held at all district headquarters except the four northern districts- Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargod- which had gone to polls in the third phase of the state local body elections on the same day.
Protest at Alappuzha
Jose K Mani MP inaugurates joint protest at Kottayam
Meanwhile, the farmers’ movement has been gathering support from all sections of the society. Many, including students, youth, workers, trade unionists, artists, etc., have been pouring in to the indefinite protest venue at Martyrs’ column.
Auto Workers Union (CITU) in solidarity with the protesting farmers at Martyrs’ Column
Students under the banner of Students Federation of India (SFI) also held protest marches across the state on Monday in solidarity with the farmers’ protest.
On Tuesday, eminent film director and Dadasaheb Phalke awardee Adoor Gopalakrishnan also showed his solidarity with the protesting farmers. Terming the protest as a life or death situation for the farmers, Gopalakrishnan criticised the government for letting the situation worsen.
“Why is the government forcing the laws on people if they do not want it? For whom is the government is implementing it?,” he questioned, adding that if the central government is not ready to address the farmers’ protest, it will be harmful to the democratic traditions of the country.