As the Lok Sabha debates the No confidence motion against the Modi government thousands of farmers from across the country marched from Mandi House to Parliament Street. The foot march was organized by All India Kisan Sangarsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), which is an alliance of more than 201 farmers organizations across the country, formed in late June 2017. The main two demands of the alliance are debt relief and guaranteed remunerative for their farm produce.
Farmers all over the country are protesting against the policies of the government. The crisis in the farming community is a direct response of years of neglect from governmental side, but Modi government harmed so much so that, from Tamil Nadu and Panjab, famers are protesting against low prices of farm produces, farm loan, farmers suicides, land acquisition and encroachment of forest land by corporations and the government itself. Increasing crony-capitalist policies of the government, land acquisition for worthless projects like Bullet Train etc., no ownership land to the tribal community in the forest land are some of the most effective causes of farmers protest.
AIKSCC on its own prepared two draft Bills – The Farmers’ Right to Guaranteed Minimum Support Prices for Agricultural Commodities Bill, 2018 and The Farmers’ Freedom from Indebtedness Bill, 2018. Both the Bills were tabled in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament as Private Member’s Bill by Raju Shetty and K.K. Rajesh in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha respectively.
These Bills are aimed to rescue farmers from the debt-trap in which they are presently stuck and to secure remunerative and guaranteed prices and off-take of their produce, so that they are not pushed to committing suicide in upcoming days and years to come. The drafts of the Bills have then been thoroughly vetted and approved by a committee comprising of keys leaders of AIKSCC and senior leaders representing 21 political parties including Indian National Congress and left parties.
This Farmers No-confidence motion against the government is organised in a series of events organised by AIKSCC in last few months to lobby for the Bills including the consultation with Opposition parties, meeting with the President of India, Kisan Mukti Yatra (11,000 KM March across the Country), Kisan Mukti Sansad, some small and big protests in most backward parts of India.
Under the banner of AIKSCC thousands of farmers marched today with black flags, placards carrying “Happy Farmers, Happy India”, “MSP (Modi Style Propaganda)”, “Kisan Virodhi Modi Sarkar Nahi Chalegi (Anti-farmer Modi Government Will not function)”, “Farmers Expresse No-confidence In Modi Government” and many more were carrying MSP rates of Modi government and C2 rates of MSP, proposed by Swaminathan Committee in 2006.
One enthusiast marcher is standing on the backend Auto Guard.
Medha Patkar, Archana Shri Vastava and other women protesters carrying the banner with the slogan “Khushhali ke do Ayam, Karja Mukti.
Some farmers from Jalandhar, Punjab with the placard stating the two MSPs of Arhar. Modi’s MSP@5675 and C2 MSP @7471.
One farmer with the placard with the slogan “Kisan Mukti Kanoon, Lekar Rahenge, Lekar Rahende (Farmer’s Freedom Legislation, we will take, We Will take)”.
Two placards titling ‘Modi’s MSP Cheats Farmers!’
A group of Farmers from Jalandhar, Punjab with the placard ‘MSP (Modi Style Propaganda)’.
Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in an appropriate gear ahead of the March for the protection and dispersal of the marchers.
Some more enthusiast farmers and protestors on back of the Auto.
Some tired marchers sitting on the bare road after the conclusion of the March at Parliament Street.
Member of Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan with the placard ‘I am son of the Farmer too’.
At the end of the march at parliamentary street, farmer’s leader like Yogendra Yadav, V. M. Singh, Raju Setty, Sarad Yadav, Sitaram Yechury, Kavitha Kurugunti and Medha Patkar gave speeches describing the crisis in farming community across the country and urged the parliament to pass to Bills, introduced as Private Member’s Bill in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament.
The Government may have won the No-Confidence Motion in the parliament, but she lost it on streets, farms, houses of farmers and hearts of the farmers. Now, the only way out for the Modi Government is to win back farmers by passing two bills or lose the upcoming election.
Nilesh Jain is a researcher at Swaraj Abhiyan and is also pursuing LLM at Faculty of Law, Delhi University. s