Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang

Government should fight Corona, not farmers and labourers: SKM

Farmer leaders said that the central government should provide vaccination centres at protest sites on a humanitarian basis, although, peasants asserted they will end protests only when demands are met.

19 Apr 2021

covid19Image: Economic Times
 

The central government should focus on curbing the spread of the second wave of Covid-19 with immediate effect, and not ignore farmers and labourers like it did during the first wave, said the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on April 18, 2021 in a press release.

“It is very condemnable that the government has not learned anything from coronavirus’s previous experience. The situation of health services and social security in India is still the same as it was in 2020. Migrant labourers may have to walk and farmers’ crops may also be destroyed, but this time, peasants will struggle instead of tolerating the oppressive instructions of the government,” said SKM leader Darshan Pal.

He said that the government should make every effort to protect the health and social security of migrant labourers. Similarly, if the central government is really concerned about peasants and the rest of the public, it should accept the demands of the farmers.

2020 data showed that there was a poor performance of GDP in all sectors, but a positive growth in the agriculture sector.  Food, farmers and farming are the minimal and maximum requirements of one and all, said the SKM. 

Considering this as well as a humanitarian need, farmer leaders said the government should set up vaccination centres at protest sites, along with necessary equipment and instructions for protection from the virus.

“More important is that in a country like India, where even today a large section of the population depends on agriculture, unsuitable models and exploitive policies are being forcefully imposed on farmers,” said the SKM.

Farmers also condemned the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for spreading its own propaganda. The SKM demanded that the government accept the withdrawal of the three anti-farmer-dubbed laws and fight the Covid-19 pandemic instead of fighting peasants.

It reminded the government that farmers are already dying by suicide while protesting against exploitive policies of governments.  Overall, around 375 people died while participating in the nationwide struggle.

On Sunday, the SKM honoured local people living near the Singhu border for supporting farmers over the last five months. People from villages, factories, colonies and markets were honoured on the main stage and promised to support the farmers in future as well.

Related:

BJP has no authority to hoard Remdesivir during shortage: AAP

Tents of protesting farmers allegdly set on fire at Singhu and Ghazipur borders!

Back-to-back farmers’ events in coming days: SKM

Kisan Shaheed Smarak: How artists contributed to the farmers’ movement

Government should fight Corona, not farmers and labourers: SKM

Farmer leaders said that the central government should provide vaccination centres at protest sites on a humanitarian basis, although, peasants asserted they will end protests only when demands are met.

covid19Image: Economic Times
 

The central government should focus on curbing the spread of the second wave of Covid-19 with immediate effect, and not ignore farmers and labourers like it did during the first wave, said the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on April 18, 2021 in a press release.

“It is very condemnable that the government has not learned anything from coronavirus’s previous experience. The situation of health services and social security in India is still the same as it was in 2020. Migrant labourers may have to walk and farmers’ crops may also be destroyed, but this time, peasants will struggle instead of tolerating the oppressive instructions of the government,” said SKM leader Darshan Pal.

He said that the government should make every effort to protect the health and social security of migrant labourers. Similarly, if the central government is really concerned about peasants and the rest of the public, it should accept the demands of the farmers.

2020 data showed that there was a poor performance of GDP in all sectors, but a positive growth in the agriculture sector.  Food, farmers and farming are the minimal and maximum requirements of one and all, said the SKM. 

Considering this as well as a humanitarian need, farmer leaders said the government should set up vaccination centres at protest sites, along with necessary equipment and instructions for protection from the virus.

“More important is that in a country like India, where even today a large section of the population depends on agriculture, unsuitable models and exploitive policies are being forcefully imposed on farmers,” said the SKM.

Farmers also condemned the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for spreading its own propaganda. The SKM demanded that the government accept the withdrawal of the three anti-farmer-dubbed laws and fight the Covid-19 pandemic instead of fighting peasants.

It reminded the government that farmers are already dying by suicide while protesting against exploitive policies of governments.  Overall, around 375 people died while participating in the nationwide struggle.

On Sunday, the SKM honoured local people living near the Singhu border for supporting farmers over the last five months. People from villages, factories, colonies and markets were honoured on the main stage and promised to support the farmers in future as well.

Related:

BJP has no authority to hoard Remdesivir during shortage: AAP

Tents of protesting farmers allegdly set on fire at Singhu and Ghazipur borders!

Back-to-back farmers’ events in coming days: SKM

Kisan Shaheed Smarak: How artists contributed to the farmers’ movement

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Kisan Shaheed Smarak: How artists contributed to the farmers’ movement

Those who created farmer memorials tell us what drove them to use their art to support farmers

16 Apr 2021

Shaheed Smarak

Hundreds of kalashs (traditional pots) stand tall at Rajasthan’s Shahjahanpur protest site where farmers secure tents and prepare for the intense summer weather at Rajasthan’s Shahjahanpur. Made of earthen pots, iron rods and soil, the structure, modelled after a bed of flowers, honours the 370 people – as of April 14, 2021 – who died while participating in the farmers’ struggle.

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming – Pablo Neruda said this a long time ago and recently I feel like this line resonates with the farmers’ struggle,” says professional designer and artist Lalon, in conversation with SabrangIndia.

A graduate from the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, Lalon had been following the farmers’ movement since the very beginning. He agreed with their ideology and arguments of the three farm laws forcibly by the central government. So, when he heard about the mitti satyagraha and its plan to honour martyred farmers, he saw it as a rare chance to offer his contribution.

“I had little time to conceptualise the idea, but I talked to farmer leader Yogendra Yadav and with my friend Shubham Singh, I headed to the border site,” he says.

They drove out to Shahjahanpur around the same time that members of the mitti satyagraha were concluding their march. Coordinator Guddi was pleasantly surprised at the time to see the enthusiastic response from people, especially villagers from Gujarat.

“We visited many historical places and hometowns of personalities in 23 states of India. We only faced police repression in Gujarat where officers cancelled our programmes. Yet villagers from around 400 villages sent their fistfuls of soil to us in Ahmedabad. The administration could not stop people’s emotion and individual freedom,” she says.

Lalon travelled to Shahjahanpur without altercation, although he could not carry the required materials with him. As is obvious from photos of his finished work, the memorial was built with simplicity in mind. Iron rods, representing strength – a prime feature of the struggle according to Lalon – kalash, carrying a local essence and the soil from the satyagraha are the only three materials used to make the installation.

“At first, I thought we wouldn’t be able to build the memorial in time. But then, other farmers helped us out. People working at the langar came to help us in the evening. We even worked at night. You could see the familial feeling in the area,” he says.

Looking back at the visit, Lalon marvels how farmers tolerate the summer heat and the desert-cold at Shahjahanpur. His wife worried about his safety but he persisted thinking, “I have to take a stand at some point.” Police officials patrolling the area also appreciated the memorial. He claimed that some police officers were sympathetic to the protest but were compelled to follow orders.

“The best moment for me was when I walked up to the top of the structure for finishing touches and one of the 40-50 farmers helping out asked me to take off my shoes. He told me yaha kisi ki samadhi hai [this is a mausoleum],” says Lalon.

Having witnessed the farmers’ protest sites first hand, he also dismisses “propaganda” claiming the movement was weakening. He points out that farmers have to return to their work during harvest season. Most helpers arrived at the memorial spot in the evening and worked throughout the night. He reasons that while they may not be physically present at protest sites, farmers were still a part of the movement in spirit, just like farmers from Gujarat who can’t voice their dissent.

“The Centre has no option but to repeal the laws. Otherwise, the situation will only worsen for the central leaders. They need to understand this,” he says.

Lalon’s faith in the movement perfectly mirrors professional sculptor Devanjan Roy’s conviction who built the first memorial for farmers just before the Republic Day parade. Unlike recent structures, the Bengali artist’s sculpture portrayed two specific figures of the farmers’ movement: farmer leader Chhotu Ram carrying belated Sant Ram Singh’s body while holding a plow with the other hand.

 

Enraged by the recent security forces and barricades around protest sites, Roy headed to the protest sites to “fulfil his duty as a citizen” at a time when protests were in full swing. He worked on the memorial to express the idea that farmers, who worked as the backbone of the economy, deserved to voice their dissent against the laws.

He asks, “If people don’t want the laws, why force them? And if these laws must be enacted then why not provide farmers with a legal guarantee to support prices?” 

While speaking to SabrangIndia, Roy condemned the mainstream media for spreading lies about the weakening of the movement. He claimed more farmers will head towards protest sites from West Bengal, once the assembly election finished.

“Farmers will not back down and the people of India support them,” he says.

Adding to this, Guddi points out that while farmers may not be collecting in large numbers in one area, hundreds of mahapanchayats were carried out in recent weeks.

“This is the movement’s strategy. Farmers are taking this time to spread their message through grassroot-level meetings,” she says.

Across India, farmers continue their battle against the three laws – the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance & Farm Services Act, the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act,and  the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act – along with a legal guarantee to Minimum Support Price (MSP). As the movement enters its fifth month, farmers now prepare for the hot summer.

Related:

Kisan Shaheed Smarak: A memorial to those who died during the nationwide farmers' protest
Sikh priest’s suicide exposes double speak of the ruling BJP and its apologists
Mitti satyagraha begins on the same day as the historic salt satyagraha!
144 peasants died during farmers’ struggle since November 24, 2020

Kisan Shaheed Smarak: How artists contributed to the farmers’ movement

Those who created farmer memorials tell us what drove them to use their art to support farmers

Shaheed Smarak

Hundreds of kalashs (traditional pots) stand tall at Rajasthan’s Shahjahanpur protest site where farmers secure tents and prepare for the intense summer weather at Rajasthan’s Shahjahanpur. Made of earthen pots, iron rods and soil, the structure, modelled after a bed of flowers, honours the 370 people – as of April 14, 2021 – who died while participating in the farmers’ struggle.

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming – Pablo Neruda said this a long time ago and recently I feel like this line resonates with the farmers’ struggle,” says professional designer and artist Lalon, in conversation with SabrangIndia.

A graduate from the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, Lalon had been following the farmers’ movement since the very beginning. He agreed with their ideology and arguments of the three farm laws forcibly by the central government. So, when he heard about the mitti satyagraha and its plan to honour martyred farmers, he saw it as a rare chance to offer his contribution.

“I had little time to conceptualise the idea, but I talked to farmer leader Yogendra Yadav and with my friend Shubham Singh, I headed to the border site,” he says.

They drove out to Shahjahanpur around the same time that members of the mitti satyagraha were concluding their march. Coordinator Guddi was pleasantly surprised at the time to see the enthusiastic response from people, especially villagers from Gujarat.

“We visited many historical places and hometowns of personalities in 23 states of India. We only faced police repression in Gujarat where officers cancelled our programmes. Yet villagers from around 400 villages sent their fistfuls of soil to us in Ahmedabad. The administration could not stop people’s emotion and individual freedom,” she says.

Lalon travelled to Shahjahanpur without altercation, although he could not carry the required materials with him. As is obvious from photos of his finished work, the memorial was built with simplicity in mind. Iron rods, representing strength – a prime feature of the struggle according to Lalon – kalash, carrying a local essence and the soil from the satyagraha are the only three materials used to make the installation.

“At first, I thought we wouldn’t be able to build the memorial in time. But then, other farmers helped us out. People working at the langar came to help us in the evening. We even worked at night. You could see the familial feeling in the area,” he says.

Looking back at the visit, Lalon marvels how farmers tolerate the summer heat and the desert-cold at Shahjahanpur. His wife worried about his safety but he persisted thinking, “I have to take a stand at some point.” Police officials patrolling the area also appreciated the memorial. He claimed that some police officers were sympathetic to the protest but were compelled to follow orders.

“The best moment for me was when I walked up to the top of the structure for finishing touches and one of the 40-50 farmers helping out asked me to take off my shoes. He told me yaha kisi ki samadhi hai [this is a mausoleum],” says Lalon.

Having witnessed the farmers’ protest sites first hand, he also dismisses “propaganda” claiming the movement was weakening. He points out that farmers have to return to their work during harvest season. Most helpers arrived at the memorial spot in the evening and worked throughout the night. He reasons that while they may not be physically present at protest sites, farmers were still a part of the movement in spirit, just like farmers from Gujarat who can’t voice their dissent.

“The Centre has no option but to repeal the laws. Otherwise, the situation will only worsen for the central leaders. They need to understand this,” he says.

Lalon’s faith in the movement perfectly mirrors professional sculptor Devanjan Roy’s conviction who built the first memorial for farmers just before the Republic Day parade. Unlike recent structures, the Bengali artist’s sculpture portrayed two specific figures of the farmers’ movement: farmer leader Chhotu Ram carrying belated Sant Ram Singh’s body while holding a plow with the other hand.

 

Enraged by the recent security forces and barricades around protest sites, Roy headed to the protest sites to “fulfil his duty as a citizen” at a time when protests were in full swing. He worked on the memorial to express the idea that farmers, who worked as the backbone of the economy, deserved to voice their dissent against the laws.

He asks, “If people don’t want the laws, why force them? And if these laws must be enacted then why not provide farmers with a legal guarantee to support prices?” 

While speaking to SabrangIndia, Roy condemned the mainstream media for spreading lies about the weakening of the movement. He claimed more farmers will head towards protest sites from West Bengal, once the assembly election finished.

“Farmers will not back down and the people of India support them,” he says.

Adding to this, Guddi points out that while farmers may not be collecting in large numbers in one area, hundreds of mahapanchayats were carried out in recent weeks.

“This is the movement’s strategy. Farmers are taking this time to spread their message through grassroot-level meetings,” she says.

Across India, farmers continue their battle against the three laws – the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance & Farm Services Act, the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act,and  the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act – along with a legal guarantee to Minimum Support Price (MSP). As the movement enters its fifth month, farmers now prepare for the hot summer.

Related:

Kisan Shaheed Smarak: A memorial to those who died during the nationwide farmers' protest
Sikh priest’s suicide exposes double speak of the ruling BJP and its apologists
Mitti satyagraha begins on the same day as the historic salt satyagraha!
144 peasants died during farmers’ struggle since November 24, 2020

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Tents of protesting farmers allegdly set on fire at Singhu and Ghazipur borders!

While both protest site volunteers doused the fire quickly, air coolers, bamboo support poles and other luggage of peasants were destroyed in the fire.

16 Apr 2021

Farmers protest

Farmers’ tents and a structure for media equipment and personnel were allegedly set on fire on April 15, 2021 at Singhu and Ghazipur borders. While no one was injured, farmers at Ghazipur border claimed they saw four people who allegedly started the fire.

According to Ghazipur Committee member Baljinder Singh Mann, farmer volunteers were prepared for such incidents following reports of fire at the Singhu border. People brought fire extinguishers as well. Thus, when the media house behind the Ghazipur stage caught fire, people were able to put out the flames immediately.

“We were on alert after the morning incident at the other protest site. We did see four people who, we suspect, started the fire and we tried to catch them but they ran away. Otherwise, there is no wiring here to spark an accidental fire,” Mann told SabrangIndia.

Farmers protest

Mann also mentioned that the local fire brigade rushed to the spot around 7:30 P.M to help douse the flames. Being a media house, no person was inside the structure, however, the poles used as main support for farmers’ tents, used to be stored in the room. Those bamboo poles were completely burnt.

Earlier on Thursday noon, Singhu border farmers reported a fire by anti-social elements. Three to four tents were set on fire along with the luggage, air coolers and other furniture kept inside the temporary structures and a car parked nearby.

 

No injuries were reported however, farmer leaders approached the Kundali police station to lodge an FIR.

“Such efforts are creating an atmosphere of fear, but farmers are not afraid of these antics,” said farmer leader Darshan Pal in a press release.

Farmers continue to protest at the nation’s capital borders to demand the repeal of three farm laws – the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance & Farm Services Act, the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act – as well as a legal guarantee to Minimum Support Price (MSP).

Related:

Kisan Shaheed Smarak: A memorial to those who died during the nationwide farmers' protest

Back-to-back farmers’ events in coming days: SKM

Haryana: Farmers condemn police lathi-charge on peaceful protesters

Farmers’ struggle, a battle against a single party’s communal thoughts: Punjab SKM leaders

Tents of protesting farmers allegdly set on fire at Singhu and Ghazipur borders!

While both protest site volunteers doused the fire quickly, air coolers, bamboo support poles and other luggage of peasants were destroyed in the fire.

Farmers protest

Farmers’ tents and a structure for media equipment and personnel were allegedly set on fire on April 15, 2021 at Singhu and Ghazipur borders. While no one was injured, farmers at Ghazipur border claimed they saw four people who allegedly started the fire.

According to Ghazipur Committee member Baljinder Singh Mann, farmer volunteers were prepared for such incidents following reports of fire at the Singhu border. People brought fire extinguishers as well. Thus, when the media house behind the Ghazipur stage caught fire, people were able to put out the flames immediately.

“We were on alert after the morning incident at the other protest site. We did see four people who, we suspect, started the fire and we tried to catch them but they ran away. Otherwise, there is no wiring here to spark an accidental fire,” Mann told SabrangIndia.

Farmers protest

Mann also mentioned that the local fire brigade rushed to the spot around 7:30 P.M to help douse the flames. Being a media house, no person was inside the structure, however, the poles used as main support for farmers’ tents, used to be stored in the room. Those bamboo poles were completely burnt.

Earlier on Thursday noon, Singhu border farmers reported a fire by anti-social elements. Three to four tents were set on fire along with the luggage, air coolers and other furniture kept inside the temporary structures and a car parked nearby.

 

No injuries were reported however, farmer leaders approached the Kundali police station to lodge an FIR.

“Such efforts are creating an atmosphere of fear, but farmers are not afraid of these antics,” said farmer leader Darshan Pal in a press release.

Farmers continue to protest at the nation’s capital borders to demand the repeal of three farm laws – the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance & Farm Services Act, the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act – as well as a legal guarantee to Minimum Support Price (MSP).

Related:

Kisan Shaheed Smarak: A memorial to those who died during the nationwide farmers' protest

Back-to-back farmers’ events in coming days: SKM

Haryana: Farmers condemn police lathi-charge on peaceful protesters

Farmers’ struggle, a battle against a single party’s communal thoughts: Punjab SKM leaders

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

WB potato farmers celebrate govt schemes but voice need for more initiatives

Potato farmers held on to their produce to reap major benefits, which shows better financial conditions, say government officials

14 Apr 2021

Potato

West Bengal’s potato farmers welcomed the many steps undertaken by the state government to assure fair prices to their produce without bringing in moneylenders and middlemen, reported the Telegraph on April 13, 2021.

Cold storages were filled at maximum capacity in the wake of a bumper crop that anticipated huge sales for the 15 lakh-odd potato farmers. The agriculture marketing department estimated 115 lakh tonnes of potatoes were produced in the state against an average annual harvest of 90 lakh tonnes. Moreover, peasants owned 70 percent of these stocks.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) government employed schemes such as buying of stocks from peasants and issuance of Kisan Credit Cards, hoping to gain favour in the potato belt of Hooghly, East Burdwan, Birbhum, West Midnapore and parts of Murshidabad for the Assembly election. According to agriculture department officials, the TMC would have struggled to retain power if they lost people’s favour in this part of the state.

Accordingly, instead of resorting to distress sales like earlier sales, farmers held onto the produce until they availed deserving prices. Government officials considered this a significant decision because the wait indicated farmers were in a better financial position. Further, Kisan Credit Cards provided easy farm loans for 80 percent potato farmers,  who no longer needed to interact with moneylenders.

Earlier in mid-February, potato prices decreased to Rs. 4 per kg during harvesting. Farmers were in deep trouble as the input cost was estimated to be Rs 5. for producing a kilogram of potato. However, the government bought 10 lakh tonnes of potatoes at Rs. 6 per kg on February 23 to relieve the burden on farmers.

According to The Telegraph, increased paddy procurement also provided benefits to farmers to invest better in potatoes. Despite the benefits, farmers added that the government still needs to help with the sale of cold storage produce.

Hooghly district farmer Milan Kumar voiced a hope that the administration will help him sell his two tonnes of stored potatoes outside the state if the price is below Rs. 12 to Rs.14 per kg. Similarly, Birbhum district’s farmer Rishi Adak asked the government to provide more cold storages in the potato belt along with the assistance already provided.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been promising this last demand to potato farmers during his election rallies. However, in response the TMC states that it has been working towards that end for the past few years. Regardless, experts said that such a move will also benefit neighbouring states such as Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh in the dry season. This will also help with competition against other states like Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat that enjoy better infrastructure and thus capture the market in the absence of other state’s export policy and storage capacity.

Related:

West Bengal has highest number of hospital beds in government hospitals: CDDEP

Battleground Bengal: EC's different strokes for different folks

Battleground Bengal: Campaign ban on Mamata Banerjee parting shot by outgoing CEC?

Sitalkuchi killings: This blood won’t wash easy…

WB potato farmers celebrate govt schemes but voice need for more initiatives

Potato farmers held on to their produce to reap major benefits, which shows better financial conditions, say government officials

Potato

West Bengal’s potato farmers welcomed the many steps undertaken by the state government to assure fair prices to their produce without bringing in moneylenders and middlemen, reported the Telegraph on April 13, 2021.

Cold storages were filled at maximum capacity in the wake of a bumper crop that anticipated huge sales for the 15 lakh-odd potato farmers. The agriculture marketing department estimated 115 lakh tonnes of potatoes were produced in the state against an average annual harvest of 90 lakh tonnes. Moreover, peasants owned 70 percent of these stocks.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) government employed schemes such as buying of stocks from peasants and issuance of Kisan Credit Cards, hoping to gain favour in the potato belt of Hooghly, East Burdwan, Birbhum, West Midnapore and parts of Murshidabad for the Assembly election. According to agriculture department officials, the TMC would have struggled to retain power if they lost people’s favour in this part of the state.

Accordingly, instead of resorting to distress sales like earlier sales, farmers held onto the produce until they availed deserving prices. Government officials considered this a significant decision because the wait indicated farmers were in a better financial position. Further, Kisan Credit Cards provided easy farm loans for 80 percent potato farmers,  who no longer needed to interact with moneylenders.

Earlier in mid-February, potato prices decreased to Rs. 4 per kg during harvesting. Farmers were in deep trouble as the input cost was estimated to be Rs 5. for producing a kilogram of potato. However, the government bought 10 lakh tonnes of potatoes at Rs. 6 per kg on February 23 to relieve the burden on farmers.

According to The Telegraph, increased paddy procurement also provided benefits to farmers to invest better in potatoes. Despite the benefits, farmers added that the government still needs to help with the sale of cold storage produce.

Hooghly district farmer Milan Kumar voiced a hope that the administration will help him sell his two tonnes of stored potatoes outside the state if the price is below Rs. 12 to Rs.14 per kg. Similarly, Birbhum district’s farmer Rishi Adak asked the government to provide more cold storages in the potato belt along with the assistance already provided.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been promising this last demand to potato farmers during his election rallies. However, in response the TMC states that it has been working towards that end for the past few years. Regardless, experts said that such a move will also benefit neighbouring states such as Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh in the dry season. This will also help with competition against other states like Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat that enjoy better infrastructure and thus capture the market in the absence of other state’s export policy and storage capacity.

Related:

West Bengal has highest number of hospital beds in government hospitals: CDDEP

Battleground Bengal: EC's different strokes for different folks

Battleground Bengal: Campaign ban on Mamata Banerjee parting shot by outgoing CEC?

Sitalkuchi killings: This blood won’t wash easy…

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Kisan Shaheed Smarak: A memorial to those who died during the nationwide farmers' protest 

Metallic flames, anthems and earthen pots full of India’s soil; India’s local artists use their talents to honour the martyrs of the farmers’ struggle.

10 Apr 2021

Farmers protest

As many as 360 people died by April 7, 2021 while participating in the nationwide farmer’ struggle, they are now seen as martyrs of the movement. Many martyrs were the sole breadwinners of their families, their absence an irreparable loss that left many families haplessly fending for themselves. Yet, when Mitti Satyagraha Coordinator Guddi Tiwari talked to a mother about her son’s death, she received the reply, “If I had four sons, I would have sent them to each Delhi border.”

As an homage to this brave declaration, five memorials nowadays stand near Singhu, Tikri, Ghazipur and Shahjahanpur borders. Every memorial contains the soil accumulated by the satyagraha from various historical places like freedom fighter Bhagat Singh's village Khatkhad Kalan, Sukhdev's village Ludhiana, Udham Singh's village Sangrur, Chandrashekhar Azad's birthplace Bhabhara, Jhabua, Bardoli farmer movement sites, Sivasagar in Assam, Singur and Nandigram in West Bengal, Uttar Dinajpur, Vasava Kalyan and Bellary in Karnataka and hundreds of other places from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar.

However, what surprised Tiwari were appeals from local artists to contribute in the making of these memorials. Visual artist Kulpreet Singh from Patiala, Punjab reached out to organisers offering to help in the making of memorials at Singhu and Ghazipur border. What resulted from this offer were two sculpted jyots (flames) using proficiently-cut metal sheets with images of grains, farmers tilling the field, their bullock driven plough, the sun and the moon.

Farmers protest

Farmers protest

“The construction is welded together and painted in black for extreme contrast with the surroundings and the gaps of the cut outs,” says Singh while speaking to SabrangIndia.

Special pegs attached to the structure, allow for the satyagraha’s kalash (earthen pots) to surround the flame. One pot was also kept at the centre of the flame. Singh says the memorial conveys how a farmer wars and works with natural elements like the wind, water, and fire to feed the whole nation.

Farmers protest

“Today that same farmer is sitting at Delhi borders for his basic rights. This sculpture is dedicated to all who sacrificed their lives for the good of all. It has been named the Martyrs’ Column. This work belongs to everyone coming to Singhu and Ghazipur. This is yours too. Just like the soil, this work belongs to all of India. It is a symbol of reverence rather than a sculpture,” he says.

The veteran artist has been participating in the farmers’ struggle against the three laws since the rail-roko protests in Punjab. Regarding the events that unfolded in past months, he says that the government has behaved poorly and argued that a vibrant democracy thrives on mutual respect between the government and the public.

He also praises the mitti satyagraha by quoting Guru Govind Singh, “मानस की जात सबैएकै पहिचानबो,” which roughly translates to recognise the whole human race as of one caste. Singh said the satyagraha rose from all religious beliefs and castes; blurring the lines of the upper and the lower (economically and socially) and reached the Singhu border.

Similarly, ANHAD Founding member Shabnam Hashmi hails the atmosphere at and around Tikri border protest sites, where people from various sections of society had arrived to express solidarity to the movement, saying, “You can see Bhagat Singh’s legacy at these sites. It is amazing. You return from there energised after witnessing the power of the movement.”

Hashmi along with Bhavna Sharma, Leena Dabiru, Gauhar Raza arrived 48 hours before the satyagraha arrived at the Bahadurgarh protest site near the Tikri border to create an installation to honour the farmer martyrs. The end result was a melange of martyr photos, painted kalash and plants to represent a better future, said Tiwari.

Farmers protest

Farmers protest

SKM leaders such as Balbir Singh Rajewal, Dhanpal Singh and Harinder offered the photos while the Trolley Times group provided a list of all the deceased. The temporary memorial was inaugurated with a special anthem that was sung by singers Vedi and Pakhi Sinha.

 

Both Hashmi and Tiwari assert that the satyagraha and ensuing reactions refute mainstream media’s claim of “a weakening struggle.” Around three to four lakh farmers continue to protest near city borders, says Hashmi, while Shahjahanpur and Ghazipur borders boast a strength of thousands of protesters.

“This matured movement is an image of a single mulk fighting to protect the constitution. It is also a movement that recognises the huge participation of women. It is not easy to live four months in a trolley but they stand firm on their demands,” she says.

Similarly, Tiwari applauds all villagers, who sent the soil of their villages to the satyagraha through buses and trains. Even in Gujarat, where state police hindered their procession and cancelled their events, citizens collected and presented the soil from 400 state villages to the satyagraha at Ahmedabad. To Tiwari, it proves that the emotion and individual freedom of Gujarat farmers cannot be stopped despite state repression.

An artist from the state capital had also asked to create the Shahjahanpur borders. Now, the area near Rewari is marked by hundreds of kalash hoisted on black poles to honour martyrs who fought for farmers’ rights.

shahjan

About mitti satyagraha

A collective of India’s people's movements came together to start a soil satyagraha, reminiscent of the historic salt march carried out by Mahatma Gandhi during the Independence struggle. Participants were to pick up a fistful of soil and pledge to defend India’s fields, rivers, lakes and the public sector from private corporations.

Specifically, it honoured martyrs who died while decrying the central farm laws – the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance & Farm Services Act, the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act – in the second half of the march.

Related:

Mitti satyagraha begins on the same day as the historic salt satyagraha!

Farmer dies at Ghazipur border, family booked for draping body in Tricolour

Farmer Navreet Singh’s death not due to gun-shot injury: Police to Delhi HC

144 peasants died during farmers’ struggle since November 24, 2020

Kisan Shaheed Smarak: A memorial to those who died during the nationwide farmers' protest 

Metallic flames, anthems and earthen pots full of India’s soil; India’s local artists use their talents to honour the martyrs of the farmers’ struggle.

Farmers protest

As many as 360 people died by April 7, 2021 while participating in the nationwide farmer’ struggle, they are now seen as martyrs of the movement. Many martyrs were the sole breadwinners of their families, their absence an irreparable loss that left many families haplessly fending for themselves. Yet, when Mitti Satyagraha Coordinator Guddi Tiwari talked to a mother about her son’s death, she received the reply, “If I had four sons, I would have sent them to each Delhi border.”

As an homage to this brave declaration, five memorials nowadays stand near Singhu, Tikri, Ghazipur and Shahjahanpur borders. Every memorial contains the soil accumulated by the satyagraha from various historical places like freedom fighter Bhagat Singh's village Khatkhad Kalan, Sukhdev's village Ludhiana, Udham Singh's village Sangrur, Chandrashekhar Azad's birthplace Bhabhara, Jhabua, Bardoli farmer movement sites, Sivasagar in Assam, Singur and Nandigram in West Bengal, Uttar Dinajpur, Vasava Kalyan and Bellary in Karnataka and hundreds of other places from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar.

However, what surprised Tiwari were appeals from local artists to contribute in the making of these memorials. Visual artist Kulpreet Singh from Patiala, Punjab reached out to organisers offering to help in the making of memorials at Singhu and Ghazipur border. What resulted from this offer were two sculpted jyots (flames) using proficiently-cut metal sheets with images of grains, farmers tilling the field, their bullock driven plough, the sun and the moon.

Farmers protest

Farmers protest

“The construction is welded together and painted in black for extreme contrast with the surroundings and the gaps of the cut outs,” says Singh while speaking to SabrangIndia.

Special pegs attached to the structure, allow for the satyagraha’s kalash (earthen pots) to surround the flame. One pot was also kept at the centre of the flame. Singh says the memorial conveys how a farmer wars and works with natural elements like the wind, water, and fire to feed the whole nation.

Farmers protest

“Today that same farmer is sitting at Delhi borders for his basic rights. This sculpture is dedicated to all who sacrificed their lives for the good of all. It has been named the Martyrs’ Column. This work belongs to everyone coming to Singhu and Ghazipur. This is yours too. Just like the soil, this work belongs to all of India. It is a symbol of reverence rather than a sculpture,” he says.

The veteran artist has been participating in the farmers’ struggle against the three laws since the rail-roko protests in Punjab. Regarding the events that unfolded in past months, he says that the government has behaved poorly and argued that a vibrant democracy thrives on mutual respect between the government and the public.

He also praises the mitti satyagraha by quoting Guru Govind Singh, “मानस की जात सबैएकै पहिचानबो,” which roughly translates to recognise the whole human race as of one caste. Singh said the satyagraha rose from all religious beliefs and castes; blurring the lines of the upper and the lower (economically and socially) and reached the Singhu border.

Similarly, ANHAD Founding member Shabnam Hashmi hails the atmosphere at and around Tikri border protest sites, where people from various sections of society had arrived to express solidarity to the movement, saying, “You can see Bhagat Singh’s legacy at these sites. It is amazing. You return from there energised after witnessing the power of the movement.”

Hashmi along with Bhavna Sharma, Leena Dabiru, Gauhar Raza arrived 48 hours before the satyagraha arrived at the Bahadurgarh protest site near the Tikri border to create an installation to honour the farmer martyrs. The end result was a melange of martyr photos, painted kalash and plants to represent a better future, said Tiwari.

Farmers protest

Farmers protest

SKM leaders such as Balbir Singh Rajewal, Dhanpal Singh and Harinder offered the photos while the Trolley Times group provided a list of all the deceased. The temporary memorial was inaugurated with a special anthem that was sung by singers Vedi and Pakhi Sinha.

 

Both Hashmi and Tiwari assert that the satyagraha and ensuing reactions refute mainstream media’s claim of “a weakening struggle.” Around three to four lakh farmers continue to protest near city borders, says Hashmi, while Shahjahanpur and Ghazipur borders boast a strength of thousands of protesters.

“This matured movement is an image of a single mulk fighting to protect the constitution. It is also a movement that recognises the huge participation of women. It is not easy to live four months in a trolley but they stand firm on their demands,” she says.

Similarly, Tiwari applauds all villagers, who sent the soil of their villages to the satyagraha through buses and trains. Even in Gujarat, where state police hindered their procession and cancelled their events, citizens collected and presented the soil from 400 state villages to the satyagraha at Ahmedabad. To Tiwari, it proves that the emotion and individual freedom of Gujarat farmers cannot be stopped despite state repression.

An artist from the state capital had also asked to create the Shahjahanpur borders. Now, the area near Rewari is marked by hundreds of kalash hoisted on black poles to honour martyrs who fought for farmers’ rights.

shahjan

About mitti satyagraha

A collective of India’s people's movements came together to start a soil satyagraha, reminiscent of the historic salt march carried out by Mahatma Gandhi during the Independence struggle. Participants were to pick up a fistful of soil and pledge to defend India’s fields, rivers, lakes and the public sector from private corporations.

Specifically, it honoured martyrs who died while decrying the central farm laws – the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance & Farm Services Act, the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act – in the second half of the march.

Related:

Mitti satyagraha begins on the same day as the historic salt satyagraha!

Farmer dies at Ghazipur border, family booked for draping body in Tricolour

Farmer Navreet Singh’s death not due to gun-shot injury: Police to Delhi HC

144 peasants died during farmers’ struggle since November 24, 2020

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Back-to-back farmers’ events in coming days: SKM

Farmer leaders announced a series of events that will also honour local citizens and Bahujan supporters for their contribution to the struggle

09 Apr 2021

Image Courtesy:news18.com

Farmers will block the KMP-KGP highways from 8 AM on April 10, 2021 to the same time on the next day, as a warning to the government, said the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) during a press conference.

On Friday, farmer leaders announced a series of events planned for April from Saturday to the last week of April. Following the highway blockade, protesters will celebrate the foundation day of Khalsa Panth on April 13, at Delhi borders while simultaneously paying respects to martyrs on the anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

The next day is declared as the ‘Save Constitution Day’ and ‘Kisan Bahujan Unity Day.’ Protest site stages will be occupied and managed by agitators of Bahujan Samaj spokespersons.

“In their spirit of hatred and division, BJP leaders can perform various programs in Haryana by presenting farmers and labourers as enemies. We appeal to all Dalit-Bahujans and farmers to protest against these forces while remaining peaceful,” said farmer leader Darshan Pal.

The SKM said that on the same day, Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala has “deliberately” organised a program in Kaithal town. It called upon all protesters to decry the event by demonstrating peacefully at maximum number.

Later on April 18, farmers will honour the participation and dedication of local people by calling them on SKM stages and handing over its responsibility to them. Two days later, Rajasthani poet Bhagat Dhanna’s birth anniversary will be celebrated. The soil of his village, Doha Kalan, will be brought to Delhi borders and farmers will commemorate his memory with on-stage programmes.

Finally, the national struggle will complete 150 days of protest on April 24. The day will be marked by week-long special programs in which farmers, labourers, employees, youth, traders, students and other organisations will be called to join the Delhi morcha.

April’s last week will see a national convention of organisations supporting the farmers movement to plan and intensify the nationwide struggle. The official date for the Parliament march will be announced after completion of these events, said farmers.

Related:

Employees to strengthen farmers' protests during wheat harvest time
Stop attack on farmers, repeal hike in fertilizer prices: AIKS
Haryana Property Damage law, an attempt to kill democracy: Protesters
Farmers burn farm law copies during Holika Dahan!
Haryana passes recovery of damages to property bill, amidst slogans, by a voice vote

Back-to-back farmers’ events in coming days: SKM

Farmer leaders announced a series of events that will also honour local citizens and Bahujan supporters for their contribution to the struggle

Image Courtesy:news18.com

Farmers will block the KMP-KGP highways from 8 AM on April 10, 2021 to the same time on the next day, as a warning to the government, said the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) during a press conference.

On Friday, farmer leaders announced a series of events planned for April from Saturday to the last week of April. Following the highway blockade, protesters will celebrate the foundation day of Khalsa Panth on April 13, at Delhi borders while simultaneously paying respects to martyrs on the anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

The next day is declared as the ‘Save Constitution Day’ and ‘Kisan Bahujan Unity Day.’ Protest site stages will be occupied and managed by agitators of Bahujan Samaj spokespersons.

“In their spirit of hatred and division, BJP leaders can perform various programs in Haryana by presenting farmers and labourers as enemies. We appeal to all Dalit-Bahujans and farmers to protest against these forces while remaining peaceful,” said farmer leader Darshan Pal.

The SKM said that on the same day, Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala has “deliberately” organised a program in Kaithal town. It called upon all protesters to decry the event by demonstrating peacefully at maximum number.

Later on April 18, farmers will honour the participation and dedication of local people by calling them on SKM stages and handing over its responsibility to them. Two days later, Rajasthani poet Bhagat Dhanna’s birth anniversary will be celebrated. The soil of his village, Doha Kalan, will be brought to Delhi borders and farmers will commemorate his memory with on-stage programmes.

Finally, the national struggle will complete 150 days of protest on April 24. The day will be marked by week-long special programs in which farmers, labourers, employees, youth, traders, students and other organisations will be called to join the Delhi morcha.

April’s last week will see a national convention of organisations supporting the farmers movement to plan and intensify the nationwide struggle. The official date for the Parliament march will be announced after completion of these events, said farmers.

Related:

Employees to strengthen farmers' protests during wheat harvest time
Stop attack on farmers, repeal hike in fertilizer prices: AIKS
Haryana Property Damage law, an attempt to kill democracy: Protesters
Farmers burn farm law copies during Holika Dahan!
Haryana passes recovery of damages to property bill, amidst slogans, by a voice vote

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Haryana Property Damage law, an attempt to kill democracy: Protesters

Haryana farmers and other citizens demand the repeal of the recently passed state law that holds protesters accountable for property damage

09 Apr 2021

HaryanaSamyukt Kisan Morcha | Image: The Hindu
 

Haryana’s peasants and activists held a demonstration against the state government’s newly enacted “property damage law” at the local Rewari bypass on April 8, 2021. Protesters called the law “an attempt to assassinate democracy that will not succeed.”

Farmer organisations associated with the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), All India Kisan Khet Mazdoor Sangathan (AIKKMS) members and All India Democratic Youth Organization (AIDYO) activists participated in the event and burned copies of the law. Similar protests occurred in Matanahal, Dujana, Achhej and other areas to demand the cancellation of this law.

“This law was introduced with the objective of crushing the ongoing historical farmers movement. The government wants that no one should raise their voice against the government, no matter how much anti-people work is done by the government,” said SKM leaders in a press release.

The Recovery of Damages to Property during Disturbance to Public Act, 2021 provides for property damage recovery caused by persons during disturbances to public order by an assembly, lawful or unlawful, including riots and violent disorder. The law is reminiscent of the Uttar Pradesh laws passed after anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests.

Meanwhile, Haryana's youth farmer leader Ravi Azad received bail on Thursday. Farmer leader Darshan Pal said it has become a trend of the state government to arrest those, who talk about farmer and labour rights. “But with the rising power of the people, the government has to release them from jail. We warn the Haryana government that such behaviour should be stopped immediately,” he said.

Protesters at Delhi borders have also begun preparations for the KMP highway 24-hour road blockade on April 10. The SKM emphasised that citizens will not be disturbed or harmed. At the same time, it urged common citizens to cooperate in this program in honour of farmers and to pressure the government to listen to farmers’ demands.

Related:

Farmers burn farm law copies during Holika Dahan!

Haryana passes recovery of damages to property bill, amidst slogans, by a voice vote

Haryana gov't trying to trap farmers in false cases: SKM

Is UP's new Ordinance on recovery of damages an example of abuse of power?

 

Haryana Property Damage law, an attempt to kill democracy: Protesters

Haryana farmers and other citizens demand the repeal of the recently passed state law that holds protesters accountable for property damage

HaryanaSamyukt Kisan Morcha | Image: The Hindu
 

Haryana’s peasants and activists held a demonstration against the state government’s newly enacted “property damage law” at the local Rewari bypass on April 8, 2021. Protesters called the law “an attempt to assassinate democracy that will not succeed.”

Farmer organisations associated with the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), All India Kisan Khet Mazdoor Sangathan (AIKKMS) members and All India Democratic Youth Organization (AIDYO) activists participated in the event and burned copies of the law. Similar protests occurred in Matanahal, Dujana, Achhej and other areas to demand the cancellation of this law.

“This law was introduced with the objective of crushing the ongoing historical farmers movement. The government wants that no one should raise their voice against the government, no matter how much anti-people work is done by the government,” said SKM leaders in a press release.

The Recovery of Damages to Property during Disturbance to Public Act, 2021 provides for property damage recovery caused by persons during disturbances to public order by an assembly, lawful or unlawful, including riots and violent disorder. The law is reminiscent of the Uttar Pradesh laws passed after anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests.

Meanwhile, Haryana's youth farmer leader Ravi Azad received bail on Thursday. Farmer leader Darshan Pal said it has become a trend of the state government to arrest those, who talk about farmer and labour rights. “But with the rising power of the people, the government has to release them from jail. We warn the Haryana government that such behaviour should be stopped immediately,” he said.

Protesters at Delhi borders have also begun preparations for the KMP highway 24-hour road blockade on April 10. The SKM emphasised that citizens will not be disturbed or harmed. At the same time, it urged common citizens to cooperate in this program in honour of farmers and to pressure the government to listen to farmers’ demands.

Related:

Farmers burn farm law copies during Holika Dahan!

Haryana passes recovery of damages to property bill, amidst slogans, by a voice vote

Haryana gov't trying to trap farmers in false cases: SKM

Is UP's new Ordinance on recovery of damages an example of abuse of power?

 

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Stop attack on farmers, repeal hike in fertilizer prices: AIKS

Farmers have demanded an explanation for the exorbitant increase in prices, especially amidst an economically crippling lockdown 

09 Apr 2021

Image Courtesy:business-standard.com

Demanding that the central government repeal the new price hikes on fertilisers, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) on April 8, 2021 called upon all units to protest the Centre’s decision.

AIKS President Ashok Dhawale condemned fertiliser companies’ huge price hikes in chemical fertilizers such as the diammonium phosphate (DAP 18-46-00) that will now be sold at Rs.38,000 per metric tonne instead of Rs.24,000 per metric tonne in 2020.

This means an increase of Rs.14,000 per metric tonne for what is described by the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) as “the most popular phosphatic fertiliser”.

“Farmers, who were paying Rs.1,200 for a 50 kg bag, have to now pay Rs. 1,900. The prices of NPK complex fertilizers have also seen an exorbitant rise. NPK-I (10-26-26) prices increased from Rs. 23,500 to Rs. 35,500, an increase of Rs.12,000. NPK-II (12-32-16) prices increased from Rs. 23,700 to Rs. 36,000, an increase of Rs. 12,300. NP (20-20-0- 13) prices also increased from Rs. 18,500 to Rs. 27,000. AIKS demands immediate rollback of the increase in prices,” said Dhawale.

Similarly, AIKS General Secretary Hannan Mollah pointed out that this IFFCO-provided information was published mere two months after the government claimed that prices will not be increased as they aimed to reduce agricultural input cost to farmers.

“This has happened as the government has promoted deregulation in the fertilizer sector and companies are fixing farm gate prices without even transferring fertilizer subsidies benefits to farmers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP-led government are doubling farmers’ woes rather than their incomes,” said Mollah.

Leaders reminded that farmers have already suffered huge losses due to the unplanned lockdown announcements last year. Moreover, increasing fuel prices and other agricultural inputs have also increased the cost of production. This also comes at a time when internationally crude oil prices are low.

Meanwhile, farmers’ group Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) decried the government decision in light of repeated demands regarding fair crop prices and rising input cost.

“Farmers are not getting prices of their crops as per fixed MSP. Parallelly, the input cost of farming is increasing so much that it exceeds the prices of the crop. Similarly, the prices of other products have also increased. This is a direct attack on farmers where farmers will have to buy DAP at expensive prices,” said SKM leaders in a press release.

Leaders warned that the national movement will be intensified if the IFFCO and the government do not reduce product prices.

Related:

Employees to strengthen farmers' protests during wheat harvest time

Mumbai’s prominent union leader Datta Iswalkar passes away

Haryana: Farmers condemn police lathi-charge on peaceful protesters

Provide adequate budget to FCI! Protect the hungry! Demand India’s farmers

 

Stop attack on farmers, repeal hike in fertilizer prices: AIKS

Farmers have demanded an explanation for the exorbitant increase in prices, especially amidst an economically crippling lockdown 

Image Courtesy:business-standard.com

Demanding that the central government repeal the new price hikes on fertilisers, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) on April 8, 2021 called upon all units to protest the Centre’s decision.

AIKS President Ashok Dhawale condemned fertiliser companies’ huge price hikes in chemical fertilizers such as the diammonium phosphate (DAP 18-46-00) that will now be sold at Rs.38,000 per metric tonne instead of Rs.24,000 per metric tonne in 2020.

This means an increase of Rs.14,000 per metric tonne for what is described by the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) as “the most popular phosphatic fertiliser”.

“Farmers, who were paying Rs.1,200 for a 50 kg bag, have to now pay Rs. 1,900. The prices of NPK complex fertilizers have also seen an exorbitant rise. NPK-I (10-26-26) prices increased from Rs. 23,500 to Rs. 35,500, an increase of Rs.12,000. NPK-II (12-32-16) prices increased from Rs. 23,700 to Rs. 36,000, an increase of Rs. 12,300. NP (20-20-0- 13) prices also increased from Rs. 18,500 to Rs. 27,000. AIKS demands immediate rollback of the increase in prices,” said Dhawale.

Similarly, AIKS General Secretary Hannan Mollah pointed out that this IFFCO-provided information was published mere two months after the government claimed that prices will not be increased as they aimed to reduce agricultural input cost to farmers.

“This has happened as the government has promoted deregulation in the fertilizer sector and companies are fixing farm gate prices without even transferring fertilizer subsidies benefits to farmers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP-led government are doubling farmers’ woes rather than their incomes,” said Mollah.

Leaders reminded that farmers have already suffered huge losses due to the unplanned lockdown announcements last year. Moreover, increasing fuel prices and other agricultural inputs have also increased the cost of production. This also comes at a time when internationally crude oil prices are low.

Meanwhile, farmers’ group Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) decried the government decision in light of repeated demands regarding fair crop prices and rising input cost.

“Farmers are not getting prices of their crops as per fixed MSP. Parallelly, the input cost of farming is increasing so much that it exceeds the prices of the crop. Similarly, the prices of other products have also increased. This is a direct attack on farmers where farmers will have to buy DAP at expensive prices,” said SKM leaders in a press release.

Leaders warned that the national movement will be intensified if the IFFCO and the government do not reduce product prices.

Related:

Employees to strengthen farmers' protests during wheat harvest time

Mumbai’s prominent union leader Datta Iswalkar passes away

Haryana: Farmers condemn police lathi-charge on peaceful protesters

Provide adequate budget to FCI! Protect the hungry! Demand India’s farmers

 

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Employees to strengthen farmers' protests during wheat harvest time

Farmer unions warn the Centre against reversing any commitment made to farmers on Draft Electricity Amendment Bill

08 Apr 2021

Image Courtesy:indiagardening.com

Thousands of employees associated with the Democratic Employees' Federation and the Punjab Subordinate Service Federation have set off to join Delhi protest sites on April 11, 2021, to maintain the farmers’ struggle vigour during wheat harvest.

Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) leaders on April 7 said full preparations have been undertaken to strengthen the protest sites. “The movement will not be allowed to weaken in any manner,” said the SKM in a press release.

While wheat farmers prepared for this year’s harvest, cotton farmers strongly condemned the increase in Bt cotton seed prices by Rs. 37 per packet by the central government. Calling it an attack on farmers, they said the new prices will put an additional burden of Rs. 14 crores on Punjab farmers alone. 

“Last year, the price was fixed at Rs. 730 per packet, whereas the supply of seeds for this season started at Rs. 767 per packet. Farmers of Malwa belt of Punjab as well as cotton growers in other parts of India will be affected by this price rise,” said SKM leaders.

They also warned the central government against falling short of their commitment to withdraw the Draft Electricity Amendment Bill. Any re-introduction and passing of the Bill would be a reneging on the commitment made, and would lead to an intensification of the agitation, warned SKM leader Darshan Pal.

Meanwhile, Haryana farmer unions warned BJP and JJP leaders that their social boycott will continue and that leaders should refrain from participation in public programs anywhere in the state. Earlier, leaders issued an ultimatum to this effect as a response to the anti-farmer attitude and behaviour.

Farmers took such actions against the backdrop of Tuesday protests against BJP State President OP Dhankar and BJP MP Nayab Singh Saini, and MLA Gopal Kanda – the State Lok Hit Party President, who voted against a recent No Confidence Motion against Khattar government – in Sirsa on Wednesday. Police used water cannons on protesting farmers. However, the SKM appealed to farmers to remain peaceful in their social boycott of anti-farmer politicians.

Further, the SKM noted that a member of the Uttar Pradesh State Women's Commission resigned from her post in support of the farmers' movement and invited other BJP leaders to quit their posts too.

Related:

Haryana: Farmers condemn police lathi-charge on peaceful protesters
Provide adequate budget to FCI! Protect the hungry! Demand India’s farmers
Farmers’ struggle, a battle against a single party’s communal thoughts: Punjab SKM leaders
Punjab: Contract workers put 'No Entry' signs for Ministers who failed employment promises

Employees to strengthen farmers' protests during wheat harvest time

Farmer unions warn the Centre against reversing any commitment made to farmers on Draft Electricity Amendment Bill

Image Courtesy:indiagardening.com

Thousands of employees associated with the Democratic Employees' Federation and the Punjab Subordinate Service Federation have set off to join Delhi protest sites on April 11, 2021, to maintain the farmers’ struggle vigour during wheat harvest.

Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) leaders on April 7 said full preparations have been undertaken to strengthen the protest sites. “The movement will not be allowed to weaken in any manner,” said the SKM in a press release.

While wheat farmers prepared for this year’s harvest, cotton farmers strongly condemned the increase in Bt cotton seed prices by Rs. 37 per packet by the central government. Calling it an attack on farmers, they said the new prices will put an additional burden of Rs. 14 crores on Punjab farmers alone. 

“Last year, the price was fixed at Rs. 730 per packet, whereas the supply of seeds for this season started at Rs. 767 per packet. Farmers of Malwa belt of Punjab as well as cotton growers in other parts of India will be affected by this price rise,” said SKM leaders.

They also warned the central government against falling short of their commitment to withdraw the Draft Electricity Amendment Bill. Any re-introduction and passing of the Bill would be a reneging on the commitment made, and would lead to an intensification of the agitation, warned SKM leader Darshan Pal.

Meanwhile, Haryana farmer unions warned BJP and JJP leaders that their social boycott will continue and that leaders should refrain from participation in public programs anywhere in the state. Earlier, leaders issued an ultimatum to this effect as a response to the anti-farmer attitude and behaviour.

Farmers took such actions against the backdrop of Tuesday protests against BJP State President OP Dhankar and BJP MP Nayab Singh Saini, and MLA Gopal Kanda – the State Lok Hit Party President, who voted against a recent No Confidence Motion against Khattar government – in Sirsa on Wednesday. Police used water cannons on protesting farmers. However, the SKM appealed to farmers to remain peaceful in their social boycott of anti-farmer politicians.

Further, the SKM noted that a member of the Uttar Pradesh State Women's Commission resigned from her post in support of the farmers' movement and invited other BJP leaders to quit their posts too.

Related:

Haryana: Farmers condemn police lathi-charge on peaceful protesters
Provide adequate budget to FCI! Protect the hungry! Demand India’s farmers
Farmers’ struggle, a battle against a single party’s communal thoughts: Punjab SKM leaders
Punjab: Contract workers put 'No Entry' signs for Ministers who failed employment promises

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Government is bent on ending the mandi system: Yogendra Yadav

Farmers MSP Calculator continues to look at market prices in states across India

06 Apr 2021

Image Courtesy:zeenews.india.com

Karnataka farmers have been agitating for Minimum Support Price (MSP) for years but the government is bent on ending the mandi system rather than ensuring proper prices, said Jai Kisan Andolan Founder Yogendra Yadav on April 2, 2021.

According to the MSP Loot Calculator, state farmers incurred a loss of Rs 27.99 crore in March due to being forced to sell various crops at prices less than the MSP. Kusum farmers incurred the most loss by receiving an average market price of Rs. 4,175 per quintal as opposed to its MSP of Rs. 5327 per quintal. They suffered a “loot” of Rs. 1,152 per quintal.

Similarly, maize farmers in Karnataka suffered the most in terms of total loot. In these 31 days, farmers lost Rs. 8.11 crore, while gram farmers lost Rs. 6.95 crore and ragi farmers lost Rs. 4.97 crore.

MSP rates in other states

The Calculator also showed that other states also face similar issues in availing MSP. Particularly, for gram crops, farmers receive an average market price of Rs. 4,668 per quintal instead of MSP of Rs. 5,100 per quintal – a difference of around Rs. 432 per quintal. In March, farmers incurred a loss of Rs 273 crore due to selling gram below MSP.

In main gram producing regions such as Gujarat, the situation farmers reported a loss of Rs. 639 per quintal due to an average market price of Rs. 4,461 per quintal. Last month, Gujarat gram farmers lost a total of Rs. 72 crores while their Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra counterparts were robbed of Rs. 76 crores and Rs. 55 crores respectively.

Related:

MSP Loot Calculator: MP farmers lost more than Rs 200 crores in March
Terrified by MSP Loot Calculator, the Centre is speaking half-truths: JKA
MSP Loot Calculator: Loss on Barley sales amounts to Rs. 2 crore in 27 days!
Jowar farmers suffer major blow during kharif season sale!
Farmers lost Rs. 18 crore on Moong sales: MSP Loot Calculator

Government is bent on ending the mandi system: Yogendra Yadav

Farmers MSP Calculator continues to look at market prices in states across India

Image Courtesy:zeenews.india.com

Karnataka farmers have been agitating for Minimum Support Price (MSP) for years but the government is bent on ending the mandi system rather than ensuring proper prices, said Jai Kisan Andolan Founder Yogendra Yadav on April 2, 2021.

According to the MSP Loot Calculator, state farmers incurred a loss of Rs 27.99 crore in March due to being forced to sell various crops at prices less than the MSP. Kusum farmers incurred the most loss by receiving an average market price of Rs. 4,175 per quintal as opposed to its MSP of Rs. 5327 per quintal. They suffered a “loot” of Rs. 1,152 per quintal.

Similarly, maize farmers in Karnataka suffered the most in terms of total loot. In these 31 days, farmers lost Rs. 8.11 crore, while gram farmers lost Rs. 6.95 crore and ragi farmers lost Rs. 4.97 crore.

MSP rates in other states

The Calculator also showed that other states also face similar issues in availing MSP. Particularly, for gram crops, farmers receive an average market price of Rs. 4,668 per quintal instead of MSP of Rs. 5,100 per quintal – a difference of around Rs. 432 per quintal. In March, farmers incurred a loss of Rs 273 crore due to selling gram below MSP.

In main gram producing regions such as Gujarat, the situation farmers reported a loss of Rs. 639 per quintal due to an average market price of Rs. 4,461 per quintal. Last month, Gujarat gram farmers lost a total of Rs. 72 crores while their Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra counterparts were robbed of Rs. 76 crores and Rs. 55 crores respectively.

Related:

MSP Loot Calculator: MP farmers lost more than Rs 200 crores in March
Terrified by MSP Loot Calculator, the Centre is speaking half-truths: JKA
MSP Loot Calculator: Loss on Barley sales amounts to Rs. 2 crore in 27 days!
Jowar farmers suffer major blow during kharif season sale!
Farmers lost Rs. 18 crore on Moong sales: MSP Loot Calculator

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Subscribe to Farm and Forest