Accept farmers demands, end the struggle: SKM

Decrying repressive governments for hindering peaceful protests, SKM leaders say people are already mobilising in various states

Bharat BandhImage

Governments run by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hope that court proceedings will resolve the farmers’ struggle when in fact the solution lies in fulfilling the demands of protesting farmers, said farmers group Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on September 22, 2021.

Leaders asserted that the movement will not stop until the three laws – the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act – are withdrawn and other farmers demands are met.

As Monday approaches, farmers across India are charting out the details of their state-specific demonstrations. On September 21, the Samyukta Kisan Kamgar Morcha (SKKM) – a coalition of 200 Maharashtra organisations – held a meeting in Mumbai and gave a call to people to protest the central government’s anti-people-dubbed policies. Leaders encouraged protesters to speak out against the three contentious farm laws, the four labour codes, objectionable clauses of the Air Quality Management legislation and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021.

“If the Bill is amended, bills will increase four-fold which will affect common people in rural and urban populations and will give rise to already devastating inflation,” said the SKKM in a press release.

Further farmers have been demanding a legal guarantee to Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their farm produce. Rather than “pro-corporate” policies, farmers asked the government to lower prices of petrol, diesel, and gas cylinders.

“Stop privatisation of the public sector immediately and take back the public companies which have already been sold to the capitalist and imperialist,” said the SKKM.

Bharat Bandh

Similarly, Tamil Nadu farmers organised a state-level meeting on Tuesday in Erode with more than 65 farmers organisations to chart out the details for Bharat Bandh. Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh’s Allahabad district announced a Kisan Panchayat on September 23 in Ghoorpur vegetable market. Along with farmers and agricultural workers, river bed sand mining workers will also attend the event.

However, the state’s Sambhal area faced backlash from the police who hindered farmers’ black flag protest against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. “Many farmers were detained. SKM would like to remind the Uttar Pradesh government of farmers’ right to peaceful protests,” said SKM leader Balbir Singh Rajewal.

The SKM condemned Karnataka Chief Minister S. R. Bommai for saying that the farmers’ movement had “sponsored” protesters. Condemning his statement during state legislature proceedings, farmer leaders demanded that Bommai retract his statement. On Monday, Bommai said that the Indian National Congress or “foreign agents” in India are sponsoring the farmers’ protests at Delhi borders and other parts of the country.

While India’s officials voiced such suspicions, supporters of the movement in Britain and Canada promised to show their support for protesting Indian farmers.


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