Will the Unity of Farmers Bring the Government to its Knees?
Image Courtesy: CPIM Sirkar
Lakhs of farmers have taken to the roads in Rajasthan, as the Peasant Mahapadav enters its fourth day.
Since September 1, after Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha called on the entire state of Rajasthan, a massive indefinite agitation commenced. This peasant agitation has been ongoing for the past one month.
Thousands of farmers have courted arrest across several districts on August 9. The ‘Jail Bharo Andolan’ was initiated by Kisan Adhikar Sangharsh Samiti, with support from the farmer wing of the communist party and demanded the implementation of the Swaminathan commission recommendations and wanted assured profits on produce for farmers. The agitation also received support from opposition parties and other farmer organisations of the state.
“Across 16 districts more than 17,000 farmers courted arrest in support of their demands. The success of today has motivated us for an even intense agitation in coming days,” said Amra Ram of AIKS.
The Mahapadav continues seeking resolution of farmers’ problems and fulfilment of demands including loan waiver, remunerative prices according to Swaminathan Commission Recommendations, the greater allocation for MGNREGA, more wages and days of work, social security, pension for the farmers and agricultural workers.
Furthermore, there is the demand of a pension of Rs. 5000 per month, to every farmer over the age of 60. Since other states like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Maharashtra have waived loans of farmers, the BJP-ruled state of Rajasthan, is also being challenged on loan waivers.
Farmers from every nook and corner of the state have been preparing for this rally. Determined to get their demands fulfilled and fight for a better quality of life, the protesters have gathered their ration, money, food, utensils, and clothes and are marching to fight against the government for their rights. The group of unfaltering peasants have refused to return home till all their goals are achieved.
Rajasthan state head of Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha, Pema Ram appealed to all the farmers to come out in huge numbers and pressurize the government to waive off loans to prevent farmer suicides. “Either the loans will be waived off or the government will be wiped out”, said Ram. “The unity of the farmers is bound to bring the government to its knees.” He added.
The Mahapadav is struggling in many ways but the way they are facing their problems is writing a new definition of their struggle. The movement is not taking place for the sake of having a rally. The agitators’ protest includes cultural programs, dancing, and singing. On one hand, there are the millet tips and on the other, dances to the beat of Chang. Seeing jubilation being born out of a struggle, various organisations and progressive forces coming out in the support of the peasant movement. They are angry with the government and sympathetic towards the needs of the farmers.
Now it remains to be seen, whether the government awakens from its deep slumber and opens its mind to the pleas of the farmers.
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