Enough of this suffering, the gruesome betrayal; 10 years of despotic rule, 10 dreadful deceptions Part- III 

From a pamphlet published by Eddelu Karnataka, Translation: Naveen Prasad Alex

Farmers sucide

Deception 2: Farmers’ crisis- Farmers are sacrificed to protect corporate interests.                                                  

Their promise: We will ensure that farmers get at least one-and-a-half times what it costs them to produce agricultural produce, as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission. Farmers’ income will double by 2022. Farmers’ debts will be written off. An interest-free loan of up to Rs 1 lakh will be provided to each farmer family.

They did: They did not fulfill any promise.  Instead, six months after returning to power, the BJP-led Modi government told the Supreme Court that implementing the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission was not feasible. The government has reduced the annual agriculture budget allocation by 30 percent. Prices of other agricultural inputs like seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and diesel have increased due to cuts in farm subsidies by the central government.

The government is gradually cutting funds and gradually undermining the employment guarantee scheme. The annual expenditure required for the project is ₹ 2.72 lakh crore, but only ₹ 73,000 crore has been allocated in the 2023-24 budget. This is only a fraction of the actual cost. Farmers’ debts were not written off. To write off the debts of all farmers in the country, a total of Rs 5 lakh crore is required. But the government claims that this is not possible due to lack of funds. But during the same period the debts of corporate companies – about Rs 30 lakh crore were written off.

Indebtedness of farmer’s families also increased by 30 percent. They are stuck in a vicious cycle of debt. The Central Government has also misused the ‘National Relief Fund’. No assistance has been given to farmers who have lost their crops due to floods, droughts or similar calamities. Instead, farmers are being pushed into crop insurance. Agricultural crop insurance is entirely in the hands of private companies. This will lead to further exploitation of farmers. According to official figures, 1,74,000 farmers have committed suicide in the last 10 years. This means that every day an average of 30 farmers are sheltered in death because they cannot bear the rigors of life.

Due to very low prices of agricultural crops, unemployment in rural areas and lack of other means to repay debts, migration of farmers from villages to cities is intensifying. In the six-year period from 2016-2023, four crore people have migrated from rural to urban areas.

The central government is trying to implement three anti-farmer agricultural laws. The Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMC), formed by the government to help farmers through unethical amendment laws, is shutting down. Amendments to the Land Act create opportunities for companies to take over farmers’ land easily.

Despite strong opposition from the government, the farmers protested relentlessly on the streets of Delhi for over a year. These were intense and historically significant protests. Tragically, 752 farmers, including women farmers, lost their lives during this struggle. Eight farmers were killed when BJP MP Ajay Mishra Theni’s son deliberately drove into a peaceful protest in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh. This premeditated act was done in front of everyone’s eyes, but Ajay Mishra was not removed from the ministry or strict action was taken against him. Various other tricks and manipulations were employed to frighten and disperse the peasants, but they did not budge. Later, as the elections in Uttar Pradesh approached, Modi suddenly appeared on the TV screen and apologized to the farmers. He also promised to withdraw all the three laws and address other demands of the farmers. Farmers returned to their homes after the central government gave written assurance. A year has passed since then, but the Modi government has yet to show any signs of fulfilling its promises. Indian farmers are being cheated by Modi government.

What are the reasons for this?

The reason is obvious, the government has decided to evict the farmers from their land, take away their rights to the land and hand over their farms and produce to corporate companies. Both Adani and Ambani have invested heavily in agriculture. Farmers have control over the seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, tractors, plows and other farm implements used by farmers. Now their focus is on farmers’ land and crops. So they are pressing to amend APMC Act, Land Acquisition Act and Land Leasing Act. The corporate position is to either take over the farmers’ land or control the crops they grow, control over the primary crops, and supply the crops directly to them at prices set by the corporations. The government, which is supposed to protect the farmers, is supporting the corporates in every possible way. The government is aligning itself with corporate agendas to undermine agriculture and the farming community.

To save their lives and livelihoods, farmers’ organizations across the country are united in a life-and-death fight. The Modi government is trying to instill fear in the farmers by treating them as terrorists and trying to suppress their struggle. Only if this struggle is won, the farming community will survive. Otherwise, they end up as marginalised, destitute workers.

About Eddelu Karnataka

About Eddelu Karnataka is an independent civil society platform and campaign.It is not affiliated with any political party. Its soul is the thinkers, writers and artists who are the conscience keepers of the nation and democracy. The strength of Eddelu is the combination of organizations and grassroots movements of farmers, workers, Dalits, students, youth, women, LGBTQIA movemnts etc., who have been working selflessly for the welfare of the people for many decades, from various communities (Dalit, Tribal, Tribal, Backward Classes, Vokalinga, Lingayat, minority communities and other exploited sections) and it is a broad civil society.

About Translator

Naveen Prasad Alex is a master’s student in biological sciences at the University of Turku, Finland. He is a Junior Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences and has authored two books in Malayalam. He is also passionate about Anti-caste movements, Anthropology and politics.

Support Countercurrents

Countercurrents is answerable only to our readers. Support honest journalism because we have no PLANET B.
Become a Patron at Patreon

Join Our Newsletter


Join our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Get CounterCurrents updates on our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Related Posts

Modi & His “Secular” Strategy!

So, how seriously should Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words be taken about his “never” having expressed anything against Muslims, talked about any Hindu-Muslim communalism and so forth? He even stated…

Join Our Newsletter

Annual Subscription

Join Countercurrents Annual Fund Raising Campaign and help us

Latest News