CDRO SUPPORTS FARMERS CALL TO OBSERVE BLACK DAY ON 26th MAY
CDRO stands in solidarity with the Samyukta Kisan Morcha’s call for observing 26th May 2021 as a Black Day. The second half of 2020 saw protests against the Farm Bills passed by the BJP-led government. It is now well-known that the central government had refused to pay due attention to the initial petitions raised by the farmers’ groups. The prime minister and other Union Ministers thought that no mass movement could be staged due to the prevailing pandemic situation.
However, the farmers started gathering in the outskirts of Delhi on 26th November, braving the heavy police deployment, erection of walls on canal bridges, putting heavy boulders, with large heaps of earth on these, parking of loaded trucks and trolleys on the roads to prevent onward movement of vehicles. The brave Kisans of Haryana defied their BJP government and helped the Kisans move forward, clearing all the obstacles. The movement is continuing with full vigour even today. In the last six months, the country has witnessed lakhs of farmers continue the struggle braving all odds. The struggle had to overcome the police highhandedness, government indifference, mudslinging by the government and its godi media who had tried to depict the movement as a movement only of farmers from Punjab-Haryana-Western UP. The godi media, particularly after the historic march of the farmers on 26th January 2021, have tried to depict the struggling farmers as terrorists, either Maoists or Khalistanis. However, under the leadership of Samyukta Kisan Morcha, the farmers have withstood all these attacks. They have also braved the pandemic in Delhi. Many protestors have lost their lives due to severe cold, pneumonia, road accidents and heart attacks, but the movement continues to move forward. We, in CDRO, salute the fighting spirit of the protesting farmers.
26th May 2021 not only marks the completion of 6 months of the valiant farmers’ struggles, but it also marks the completion of 7 years of rule by the Narendra Modi-led despotic union government. Thus, this call for observing the black day is very significant as it comes when all the democratic voices raising the issues of people’s welfare are given a go by or crushed with an iron hand by the authoritarian attitude of the government. All this time, we have seen that the students-youth-intellectuals who have supported the farmers’ struggles or workers’ rights or joined against the CAA have been thrown into prison using draconian measures like the UAPA.
This government has proved time and again that they can go to any extent to malign the opposition. In the backdrop of the rise in the Covid toll in the country, the government has projected the farmers’ struggle as violative of the Corona guidelines set by the ICMR or the WHO. They have blamed the farmers’ leadership for playing with the lives of the farmers. However, the central government has conveniently forgotten that it had ample time since September 2020 to resolve the issues. They should have scrapped the Farm Bills and arranged a meeting with the stakeholders in 2020.
Notwithstanding the propaganda by the government, people have now started to feel the inept handling of the pandemic by the government. What did the government do to contain the virus? On the one hand, they have resorted to gimmicks like the banging of plates or lighting of candles, and on the other hand, they have indulged in organising Kumbh Mela and have organised election rallies.
The introduction of Farm Bills reinforces the idea that this government in the Centre is the champion of traders and crony capitalists. Thus, this farm bill should be seen as a continuation of the other draconian measures like the increase in the working hours through the introduction of labour laws by different state governments or the treatment of migrant workers. Even in containing the pandemic, the central government has failed to arrange for more hospital beds or more oxygen distribution to the patients. Even in the distribution of vaccines, the central government has made a deviation from the usual practice and have allowed private hospitals to carry out vaccination. This has created an unprecedented situation where each state has to fight against other states and the private network of hospitals in procuring vaccines.
Thus the time has now come to question this shameless government. It is imperative for all pro-democratic individuals and groups to come forward and support the farmers’ struggle as it is a beacon to all democratic aspirations of the country. CDRO reiterates its solidarity on this occasion to the Delhi march by the farmers against farm laws and labour codes. This stand is in accordance with the democratic aspirations of the farmers and workers. CDRO also welcomes and appreciates the solidarity expressed by the 12 opposition parties in support of the farmers’ march.
CDRO demands that
- Farm laws be scrapped.
- Labour codes also be withdrawn.
- Withdraw cases foisted upon the farm leaders and the struggling farmers during the Delhi gherao programmes from September till date.
- Withdraw the UAPA slapped on the struggling farmers and farmer leaders.
Pritpal Singh, Tapas Chakrabarty, K. Kranthi Chaitanya, V. Raghunath
CO-ORDINATION OF DEMOCRATICE RIGHTRS ORANISATIONS (CDRO)
Constituent Organisations: Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR, Punjab), Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR, West Bengal); Asansol Civil Rights Association, West Bengal; Bandi Mukti Committee (West Bengal); Civil Liberties Committee (Andhra Pradesh); Civil Liberties Committee (Telangana); Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (Maharashtra); Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR TamilNadu);Coordination for Human Rights (Manipur); Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (Assam); Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights ; Peoples’ Committee for Human Rights (Jammu and Kashmir); Peoples Democratic Forum (Karnataka); Jharkhand Council for Democratic Rights (Jharkhand); Peoples Union For Democratic Rights (Delhi); Peoples Union for Civil Rights (Hariyana), Campaign for Peace &amp; Democracy in Manipur, Delhi; Janhastakshep (Delhi)