A massive Kissan Panchayat was held in Muzfarnagar, UP on September 5 and resolved to intensify ongoing agitation and called for Bharat Bandh on Sept 27. The Panchayat organized by Samyukth Kisan Morcha witnessed a huge congregation of farmers and farm workers from 22 states from all over India. Large presence of youth and farm women is visibly seen.
BKU, the umbrella body coordinating 300 farm unions from all over India is significant in bringing both Hindu and Muslim farmers together in it’s nine month old historic ongoing agitation for scrapping three anti farmer laws. In a confident single voice the Panchayat urged the people to fight against outright sale from agriculture to various public assets in to the hands of a few crony capitalists and defeat the present BJP governments in forthcoming UP and Uttarakhand state elections. It also decided to organize 25 Panchayats across the country in different states to intensify the present struggle for withdrawal of three anti farmer & people farm laws. BKU national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said, “We have to stop the country from getting sold. Farmers should be saved, the country should be saved; businesses, employees, and youth should be saved. This is the aim of the rally.”
Fresh are the memories on the gory aftermath of the Muzaffarnagar riots of August-September 2013 which took toll of 62 deaths including 42 Muslims and 20 Hindus and left more than 50,000 Muslims displaced was the sole electoral beneficiary of Saffron party in the subsequent 2014 and 2017 elections. Ghulam Mohammad is a veteran 84-year-old farmer leader from Muzfarnagar was a close associate of late kisan leader Mahendra Tikhait and led with him legendary struggles from Boat club to Lucknow in the past. He said farmers from both communities sat and discussed and well understood the damage done to farminig community from polarization communal politics of BJP to reap electoral benefits.He said today Hindu-Muslim Unity is giving a new edge to the farmers’ movement.
The Samyukta morcha, in a statement, said that the promises made by the Yogi government to the farmers have not been fulfilled. Even 20% of the promised procurement has not been done, recent increase of Rs 5 per ton of sugarcane is meaning less while the central government agency CACP itself recommended in the year 2017, the cost of sugarcane was Rs 383 per quintal. Farmers are not paid dues amounting to thousands of crore rupees. Though promised by the government loan waiver for 86 lakh farmers, so far 45 lakh farmers have received the loan waiver.Besides farmers are paying huge amount on monthly electricity bills.
The Govt. Inter College ground- the venue of the congregation was decorated with several colourful flags of hundreds of farm unions.Villages surrounding Muzfarnagar voluntarily contributed and provided free food and water in nearly 700 stalls.
The massive mobilization of farmers and their outpouring anger is significant in the context of the upcoming Assembly polls in the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.The Mahapanchayat iterated to intensify struggle for withdrawal of three farm laws and called to make Bharat Bandh on Sept 27 a huge success.
Dr. Soma Marla, Principal Scientist (Crop Genomics), ICAR, New Delhi