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Teesta Setalvad calls out modern day "zamindars" who are trying to usurp control of India's forests

Setalvad was the keynote speaker at the inaugural event of the AIUFWP’s 2nd National Conference being held in New Delhi

02 Dec 2021

Teesta Setalvad

All India Union of Forest Working People’s (AIUFWP) , a united front for forest rights struggle, is a unique movement that is led by those women who lead the struggle on-ground, said Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) General Secretary Teesta Setalvad on December 1, 2021. Setalvad was the keynote speaker at the inaugural event of the AIUFWP’s second national conference.

The human rights defender, journalist and educationist, praised Adivasi and other forest-dwellers from Sonbhadra to Dudhwa, who continue to fight for their rights under the Forest Rights Act 2006 (FRA). Working with CJP and AIUFWP volunteers, local communities learnt how to file land rights claims and assert their rights.

“24 percent of India’s land is in the hands of the forest department. These ‘zamindars’ have repeatedly tried to lodge false cases against forest-dwellers and Adivasis demanding their constitutional and legal rights,” said Setalvad without mincing words. To illustrate, she recalled how the community responded to the February 13, 2019 Supreme Court order that called for the ‘eviction’ of millions of Adivasis and forest-dwelling communities. The apex court did so on the basis of the Indian Forest Act 1927 after three non-profit organisations questioning the constitutional validity of FRA, 2006.

Adivasis and forest working people observed large-scale protests across India along with other civil and political groups. AIUFWP with CJP then backed a unique petition led by Adivasi human rights defenders Sokalo Gond and Nivada Rana before the Supreme Court.

“Women leaders and senior members of the Union stand at the front because this unique movement believes in being led by those struggling on-ground. CJP continues to support the people who mobilise on-ground for jal, jangal, zameen,” said Setalvad.

Following the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, AIUFWP members felt a pressing need to discuss the issues of land rights and evictions faced by forest-dwellers. Setalvad spoke about how land claims and control of forest produce with Adivasi communities can benefit migrant labourers, who suffered severe economic crisis during the pandemic. AIUFWP has, in recent months, made efforts to address education and health issues due to Covid-19. 

Meanwhile, Setalvad drew attention to the growing abuse of the UAPA and sedition laws to suppress dissent. “These laws are used to hinder individual rights and spread hate politics. It is done by the same people who are in power at the central-level and state-level,” she said. Thus to reclaim democracy, she advised Union members to work with the Opposition political parties while pushing the same to incorporate forest and land rights in their manifestos. Further, she reiterated the AIUFWP’s demand to hold a special Parliamentary session about FRA enactment and hindrances caused by forest department and police. This is similar to farmers' demands for a special Parliamentary session on farming issues.

Congratulating the Adivasi and forest-dweller communities for their contribution in the farmers’ struggle – being farmers too – Setalvad said the AIUFWP event came at a historic moment. “On November 2021 the central government had to bow down to farmers. For a year, farmers protested. This includes forest-dwellers and Adivasi folk, who were also prominently present for other national demonstrations like Shaheen Bagh,” she said.

As many as 700 farmers and agricultural labourers were martyred during the year-long movement to get the three contentious laws repealed. However, Setalvad raised concerns about the undemocratic manner in which the Bill to repeal the law was passed. Opposition MPs were suspended, indicating the tyranny of the ruling regime. For this reason, she called upon the Union to stay united. AIUFWP leaders raise the fundamental questions, be it regarding the country’s view regarding equality or fraternity. She encouraged members to decry the hate politics against minorities.

“I am sure the AIUFWP will, because they did so during the Shaheen bagh protests,” she said.

Aside from Setalvad, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) General Secretary Hannan Mollah, NTUI leader Gautam Modi, CPI)M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat, IFTU leader Aparna, Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy Vijayan MJ, Punjab’s cultural activist Navsharan Singh, the AIKMS President, politician and writer Dr Sunilam also spoke at the event.

Towards the end of the event, AIUFWP General Secretary Ashok Chaudhary thanked Setalvad and other speakers for her focussed and encouraging talk.

 

Related:

AIUFWP’s 2nd National Conference begins in New Delhi

AIUFWP’s second National Conference to discuss land, legal, constitutional rights and more

Nearly 20 days later, MoEFCC shares FCA proposal in regional languages

Jal, Jungle, Zameen: Chhattisgarh Adivasis march 300kms to oppose coal mining projects

Teesta Setalvad calls out modern day "zamindars" who are trying to usurp control of India's forests

Setalvad was the keynote speaker at the inaugural event of the AIUFWP’s 2nd National Conference being held in New Delhi

Teesta Setalvad

All India Union of Forest Working People’s (AIUFWP) , a united front for forest rights struggle, is a unique movement that is led by those women who lead the struggle on-ground, said Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) General Secretary Teesta Setalvad on December 1, 2021. Setalvad was the keynote speaker at the inaugural event of the AIUFWP’s second national conference.

The human rights defender, journalist and educationist, praised Adivasi and other forest-dwellers from Sonbhadra to Dudhwa, who continue to fight for their rights under the Forest Rights Act 2006 (FRA). Working with CJP and AIUFWP volunteers, local communities learnt how to file land rights claims and assert their rights.

“24 percent of India’s land is in the hands of the forest department. These ‘zamindars’ have repeatedly tried to lodge false cases against forest-dwellers and Adivasis demanding their constitutional and legal rights,” said Setalvad without mincing words. To illustrate, she recalled how the community responded to the February 13, 2019 Supreme Court order that called for the ‘eviction’ of millions of Adivasis and forest-dwelling communities. The apex court did so on the basis of the Indian Forest Act 1927 after three non-profit organisations questioning the constitutional validity of FRA, 2006.

Adivasis and forest working people observed large-scale protests across India along with other civil and political groups. AIUFWP with CJP then backed a unique petition led by Adivasi human rights defenders Sokalo Gond and Nivada Rana before the Supreme Court.

“Women leaders and senior members of the Union stand at the front because this unique movement believes in being led by those struggling on-ground. CJP continues to support the people who mobilise on-ground for jal, jangal, zameen,” said Setalvad.

Following the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, AIUFWP members felt a pressing need to discuss the issues of land rights and evictions faced by forest-dwellers. Setalvad spoke about how land claims and control of forest produce with Adivasi communities can benefit migrant labourers, who suffered severe economic crisis during the pandemic. AIUFWP has, in recent months, made efforts to address education and health issues due to Covid-19. 

Meanwhile, Setalvad drew attention to the growing abuse of the UAPA and sedition laws to suppress dissent. “These laws are used to hinder individual rights and spread hate politics. It is done by the same people who are in power at the central-level and state-level,” she said. Thus to reclaim democracy, she advised Union members to work with the Opposition political parties while pushing the same to incorporate forest and land rights in their manifestos. Further, she reiterated the AIUFWP’s demand to hold a special Parliamentary session about FRA enactment and hindrances caused by forest department and police. This is similar to farmers' demands for a special Parliamentary session on farming issues.

Congratulating the Adivasi and forest-dweller communities for their contribution in the farmers’ struggle – being farmers too – Setalvad said the AIUFWP event came at a historic moment. “On November 2021 the central government had to bow down to farmers. For a year, farmers protested. This includes forest-dwellers and Adivasi folk, who were also prominently present for other national demonstrations like Shaheen Bagh,” she said.

As many as 700 farmers and agricultural labourers were martyred during the year-long movement to get the three contentious laws repealed. However, Setalvad raised concerns about the undemocratic manner in which the Bill to repeal the law was passed. Opposition MPs were suspended, indicating the tyranny of the ruling regime. For this reason, she called upon the Union to stay united. AIUFWP leaders raise the fundamental questions, be it regarding the country’s view regarding equality or fraternity. She encouraged members to decry the hate politics against minorities.

“I am sure the AIUFWP will, because they did so during the Shaheen bagh protests,” she said.

Aside from Setalvad, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) General Secretary Hannan Mollah, NTUI leader Gautam Modi, CPI)M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat, IFTU leader Aparna, Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy Vijayan MJ, Punjab’s cultural activist Navsharan Singh, the AIKMS President, politician and writer Dr Sunilam also spoke at the event.

Towards the end of the event, AIUFWP General Secretary Ashok Chaudhary thanked Setalvad and other speakers for her focussed and encouraging talk.

 

Related:

AIUFWP’s 2nd National Conference begins in New Delhi

AIUFWP’s second National Conference to discuss land, legal, constitutional rights and more

Nearly 20 days later, MoEFCC shares FCA proposal in regional languages

Jal, Jungle, Zameen: Chhattisgarh Adivasis march 300kms to oppose coal mining projects

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Sabrang

AIUFWP’s 2nd National Conference begins in New Delhi

Adivasis, forest workers, activists and farmers come together to discuss land and forest rights

02 Dec 2021

AIUFWP

Adivasi activists, farmer rights proponents and peasant leaders gathered at the Constitution Club in New Delhi on December 1, 2021 to inaugurate the 2nd National Conference of the All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP). The three-day Conference brings together various stakeholders in the Forest Rights movement such as Adivasis and Forest Dwelling Community members, forest workers, farmers and activists.

Following the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, AIUFWP members felt it was more pertinent than over to discuss the issues of land rights and evictions faced by forest-dwellers. Accordingly, the Union along with others speakers talked about the historic farmers and peasant struggle, amendments to Forest Protection Act 2021, amendments to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) rules 2020, legal rights of workers and atrocities like the CAA-NRC and crimes committed against Muslims, Dalits and similar minority groups.

The event began with folk songs relating to the movement by Adivasi leader Daulat Kol and members of the Pratidhwani team. Then AIUFWP Deputy General Secretary Roma Malik spoke of pressing issues like the state of livelihood of forest communities, landless farmers, tenant and migrant laborers, and fishermen folks after the pandemic years.

aiuwfp

She pointed out that citizens witnessed many anti-people laws by the government in the last two years. Mass protests rose in opposition to these authoritarian moves. Stating that the working class population has been spearheading those movements, she spoke about AIUFWP efforts to call for the implementation of the Forest Rights Act (2006) and other issues.

Later, keynote speaker and Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) Secretary Teesta Setalvad congratulated the AIUFWP and members of the NTUI for the recent success of the farmers' struggle. She said that just like the farmers at various protest sites, adivasis across India fight for the realisation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) 2006 that are often denied by the forest department.

TS

Calling the forest officials “zamindars” Setalvad condemned the government for repeatedly trying to arrest forest-dwellers and adivasis under false charges. 

“However, workers continue to learn about their legal rights and file land rights claims,” she said.

Setalvad referred to the 2019 Supreme Court eviction order that was decried by Adivasi groups. It is noteworthy that CJP and AIUFWP had backed a Supreme Court petition against this eviction, wherein Adivasi leaders Sokalo Gond and Nivada Rana were the main petitioners.

“Those who mobilise the struggle at the ground-level are the real leaders. The AIUFWP continues to fight the battle for jan jal jameen,” said Setalvad.

She argued that if Adivasi communities get their land claims and gain control of forest produce, then the benefits can also be availed by the country’s migrant labourers who suffered severe economic crisis during the pandemic. She reiterated the AIUFWP’s demand to hold a special Parliamentary session about FRA enactment and hindrances caused by forest department and police.

Following this, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) General Secretary and Land Rights Movement Leader Hannan Mollah acknowledged the role of Adivasi struggle in shaping the farmers struggle. He said that the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) formed a coalition with no single leader in line with the forest-dweller unions. He also spoke about the BJP-led government’s continued efforts to sell forest to corporates as seen by the recent attempt to dilute the Forest Conservation Act (FCA).

Similarly, NTUI leader Gautam Modi said that trade unions that largely focus on labour wages have much to learn from the Adivasi movement that fights for their legal right to their land. He also warned that the constitutional rights of the people were under threat of the ruling regime.

Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M) Brinda Karat, then spoke about the creation of the FRA and the condemnable manner in which land has been handed over to corporates. She criticised the government for handing over large amounts of forest land to corporates while stating on international forums that India is working towards a healthy environment to address the climate crisis.

Other speakers who addressed the gathering were: IFTU leader Aparna, Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy Vijayan MJ, Punjab’s cultural activist Navsharan Singh, the AIKMS President, politician and writer Dr Sunilam.

“It was an encouraging session. People even enjoyed the songs played by Pratidhwani towards the end and speakers' views were precise and focussed,” said AIUFWP General Secretary Ashok Chaudhary.

aiufwp

aiufwp

 

Sabrang Related:

AIUFWP’s second National Conference to discuss land, legal, constitutional rights and more

Nearly 20 days later, MoEFCC shares FCA proposal in regional languages

Jal, Jungle, Zameen: Chhattisgarh Adivasis march 300kms to oppose coal mining projects

Dilution of environmental laws, a persistent tactic: AIUFWP

AIUFWP’s 2nd National Conference begins in New Delhi

Adivasis, forest workers, activists and farmers come together to discuss land and forest rights

AIUFWP

Adivasi activists, farmer rights proponents and peasant leaders gathered at the Constitution Club in New Delhi on December 1, 2021 to inaugurate the 2nd National Conference of the All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP). The three-day Conference brings together various stakeholders in the Forest Rights movement such as Adivasis and Forest Dwelling Community members, forest workers, farmers and activists.

Following the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, AIUFWP members felt it was more pertinent than over to discuss the issues of land rights and evictions faced by forest-dwellers. Accordingly, the Union along with others speakers talked about the historic farmers and peasant struggle, amendments to Forest Protection Act 2021, amendments to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) rules 2020, legal rights of workers and atrocities like the CAA-NRC and crimes committed against Muslims, Dalits and similar minority groups.

The event began with folk songs relating to the movement by Adivasi leader Daulat Kol and members of the Pratidhwani team. Then AIUFWP Deputy General Secretary Roma Malik spoke of pressing issues like the state of livelihood of forest communities, landless farmers, tenant and migrant laborers, and fishermen folks after the pandemic years.

aiuwfp

She pointed out that citizens witnessed many anti-people laws by the government in the last two years. Mass protests rose in opposition to these authoritarian moves. Stating that the working class population has been spearheading those movements, she spoke about AIUFWP efforts to call for the implementation of the Forest Rights Act (2006) and other issues.

Later, keynote speaker and Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) Secretary Teesta Setalvad congratulated the AIUFWP and members of the NTUI for the recent success of the farmers' struggle. She said that just like the farmers at various protest sites, adivasis across India fight for the realisation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) 2006 that are often denied by the forest department.

TS

Calling the forest officials “zamindars” Setalvad condemned the government for repeatedly trying to arrest forest-dwellers and adivasis under false charges. 

“However, workers continue to learn about their legal rights and file land rights claims,” she said.

Setalvad referred to the 2019 Supreme Court eviction order that was decried by Adivasi groups. It is noteworthy that CJP and AIUFWP had backed a Supreme Court petition against this eviction, wherein Adivasi leaders Sokalo Gond and Nivada Rana were the main petitioners.

“Those who mobilise the struggle at the ground-level are the real leaders. The AIUFWP continues to fight the battle for jan jal jameen,” said Setalvad.

She argued that if Adivasi communities get their land claims and gain control of forest produce, then the benefits can also be availed by the country’s migrant labourers who suffered severe economic crisis during the pandemic. She reiterated the AIUFWP’s demand to hold a special Parliamentary session about FRA enactment and hindrances caused by forest department and police.

Following this, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) General Secretary and Land Rights Movement Leader Hannan Mollah acknowledged the role of Adivasi struggle in shaping the farmers struggle. He said that the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) formed a coalition with no single leader in line with the forest-dweller unions. He also spoke about the BJP-led government’s continued efforts to sell forest to corporates as seen by the recent attempt to dilute the Forest Conservation Act (FCA).

Similarly, NTUI leader Gautam Modi said that trade unions that largely focus on labour wages have much to learn from the Adivasi movement that fights for their legal right to their land. He also warned that the constitutional rights of the people were under threat of the ruling regime.

Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M) Brinda Karat, then spoke about the creation of the FRA and the condemnable manner in which land has been handed over to corporates. She criticised the government for handing over large amounts of forest land to corporates while stating on international forums that India is working towards a healthy environment to address the climate crisis.

Other speakers who addressed the gathering were: IFTU leader Aparna, Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy Vijayan MJ, Punjab’s cultural activist Navsharan Singh, the AIKMS President, politician and writer Dr Sunilam.

“It was an encouraging session. People even enjoyed the songs played by Pratidhwani towards the end and speakers' views were precise and focussed,” said AIUFWP General Secretary Ashok Chaudhary.

aiufwp

aiufwp

 

Sabrang Related:

AIUFWP’s second National Conference to discuss land, legal, constitutional rights and more

Nearly 20 days later, MoEFCC shares FCA proposal in regional languages

Jal, Jungle, Zameen: Chhattisgarh Adivasis march 300kms to oppose coal mining projects

Dilution of environmental laws, a persistent tactic: AIUFWP

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SKM decries Centre’s tyranny in disallowing debate on farm laws

While triumphant of the repeal of the laws, farmers note the unilateral and undemocratic attitude of the ruling regime continues

29 Nov 2021

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

“History has been made today in India, when the anti-farmer central farm laws got repealed. However, the development was marred by the fact that there was no debate allowed on the Bill tabled to repeal the 3 laws,” said farmers umbrella body Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) in reaction to the repeal of the three farm laws on November 29, 2021 during the Parliament’s winter session.

Following through on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unilateral decision, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar tabled the Farm Laws Repeal Bill on Monday that was passed sans discussions through both houses of Parliament.

Even when these laws were introduced in June 2020 as Ordinances, the central government forcibly passed them without listening to opposing voices. Farmer leaders took note of this repetitive behaviour and further took note of the Statement of Objects and Reasons in the repeal Bill.

“[The Bill] cannot be farther from the truth. In most state APMC Acts, farmers already have the freedom to sell their produce to any buyer at any place of their choice and such a freedom was not given for the first time by the Modi Government as is being claimed,” said the SKM in a joint statement.

Further, it criticised the government for once again failing to acknowledge the unconstitutional manner in which the laws were previously passed. Farmers were not consulted during the formation of these laws, said leaders.

“In a democracy, opportunistic consultations with industry-sponsored farm unions is not the way forward, and there have to be serious deliberative democratic processes adopted. The repeal Bill reflects the egoistic and adamant attitude of the present government, and it is only meant to misguide gullible people,” said the SKM.

Still, not ruminating on the day’s proceeding for long, the SKM reported that as many as 686 farmers have been martyred in the struggle so far. Pointing out that the responsibility of these deaths lies with the central government, farmer leaders said that farmers remain at protest sites to demand assertion of other demands.

Opposition parties continue to support these demands including the legal guarantee to Minimum Support Price (MSP). In the last year, a group of economists also stepped forward to write a letter detailing the many positive outcomes for the overall economy if such a provision is made.

“While some experts are willingly choosing to misinterpret farmers' demand for MSP and present data of exaggerated public financing burden, the farmers' movement knows that such misleading data will not stand the test of scrutiny. The investments for an MSP guarantee law are very much within the practical power of the Centre and will come back as revenues as soon as the rural economy receives a boost from such a law,” said the SKM.

Similarly, on the demand of dismissal of all FIRs against protesting farmers, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar indicated that he will do so on the Centre's instructions. It may be noted that earlier Tomar declined to comment on this issue calling FIRs a “state concern”.

Similarly, while areas like Delhi and Chandigarh wait for the central government’s direct orders, BJP-led state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh etc. also await the central government’s orders.

“Modi Government cannot escape its responsibility with regard to this demand, or all other pending demands including on withdrawal of electricity amendments bill, around compensation to kin of martyrs, a martyr memorial, about arrest and sacking of Ajay Mishra Teni etc.,” said the SKM.

Related:

Parliament repeals farm laws sans discussion, but what's next?
SKM postpones Tractor Rally to Parliament
Farmers' movement: 12 months and still going strong!
Kranti ka Naqsha: Mapping a year of the Kisan Andolan
Welcome repeal of laws but other demands pending: SKM to PM Modi

SKM decries Centre’s tyranny in disallowing debate on farm laws

While triumphant of the repeal of the laws, farmers note the unilateral and undemocratic attitude of the ruling regime continues

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

“History has been made today in India, when the anti-farmer central farm laws got repealed. However, the development was marred by the fact that there was no debate allowed on the Bill tabled to repeal the 3 laws,” said farmers umbrella body Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) in reaction to the repeal of the three farm laws on November 29, 2021 during the Parliament’s winter session.

Following through on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unilateral decision, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar tabled the Farm Laws Repeal Bill on Monday that was passed sans discussions through both houses of Parliament.

Even when these laws were introduced in June 2020 as Ordinances, the central government forcibly passed them without listening to opposing voices. Farmer leaders took note of this repetitive behaviour and further took note of the Statement of Objects and Reasons in the repeal Bill.

“[The Bill] cannot be farther from the truth. In most state APMC Acts, farmers already have the freedom to sell their produce to any buyer at any place of their choice and such a freedom was not given for the first time by the Modi Government as is being claimed,” said the SKM in a joint statement.

Further, it criticised the government for once again failing to acknowledge the unconstitutional manner in which the laws were previously passed. Farmers were not consulted during the formation of these laws, said leaders.

“In a democracy, opportunistic consultations with industry-sponsored farm unions is not the way forward, and there have to be serious deliberative democratic processes adopted. The repeal Bill reflects the egoistic and adamant attitude of the present government, and it is only meant to misguide gullible people,” said the SKM.

Still, not ruminating on the day’s proceeding for long, the SKM reported that as many as 686 farmers have been martyred in the struggle so far. Pointing out that the responsibility of these deaths lies with the central government, farmer leaders said that farmers remain at protest sites to demand assertion of other demands.

Opposition parties continue to support these demands including the legal guarantee to Minimum Support Price (MSP). In the last year, a group of economists also stepped forward to write a letter detailing the many positive outcomes for the overall economy if such a provision is made.

“While some experts are willingly choosing to misinterpret farmers' demand for MSP and present data of exaggerated public financing burden, the farmers' movement knows that such misleading data will not stand the test of scrutiny. The investments for an MSP guarantee law are very much within the practical power of the Centre and will come back as revenues as soon as the rural economy receives a boost from such a law,” said the SKM.

Similarly, on the demand of dismissal of all FIRs against protesting farmers, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar indicated that he will do so on the Centre's instructions. It may be noted that earlier Tomar declined to comment on this issue calling FIRs a “state concern”.

Similarly, while areas like Delhi and Chandigarh wait for the central government’s direct orders, BJP-led state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh etc. also await the central government’s orders.

“Modi Government cannot escape its responsibility with regard to this demand, or all other pending demands including on withdrawal of electricity amendments bill, around compensation to kin of martyrs, a martyr memorial, about arrest and sacking of Ajay Mishra Teni etc.,” said the SKM.

Related:

Parliament repeals farm laws sans discussion, but what's next?
SKM postpones Tractor Rally to Parliament
Farmers' movement: 12 months and still going strong!
Kranti ka Naqsha: Mapping a year of the Kisan Andolan
Welcome repeal of laws but other demands pending: SKM to PM Modi

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Parliament repeals farm laws sans discussion, but what's next?

Farmers reiterate that the struggle has always been peasant rights not just the three farm laws

29 Nov 2021

Farm Laws Repeal
Image Courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

The Farm Laws Repeal Bill that calls for the dismissal of the contentious farm laws was passed by the Parliament without any debate on the first day of the Winter Session on November 29, 2021. While this sets the precedent for a major win for farmers, leaders have pointed out that other crucial demands are yet to be addressed.

On Monday, both Houses of Parliament passed the Farm Laws Repeal Bill to dismiss the three contentious laws:

 

  • Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020
  • Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020
  • Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020

The same was done with a voice vote although Opposition party Members of Parliament (MPs) from Congress, TMC and DMK demanded a discussion of the laws.

 

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar, who tabled the Bill, wrote in the legislature that “these enactments were made for the overall socio-economic development of farmers and rural sector.” However, acknowledging that even the Supreme Court’s January 2021 order stayed the implementation of these laws, it asked to dismiss the same.

However, farmer leaders in a previous letter to Modi clarified that the repeal of the laws is only the tip of the iceberg.

“The Government of India ungraciously gives in to one of the key demands of protesting farmers with this Repeal Bill. It is worth noting that [while] it seeks to recall the laws made in 2020 that led to huge historic protests by farmers of India, in its Statement of Objects and Reasons continues to defend the laws stoutly and mentions that only a group of farmers are protesting against these laws. It links the repeal to Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, with the need of the hour being to take everyone together on the path of inclusive growth and development,” said the farmers group Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) in a joint press statement on November 28.

 

In a letter by SKM, farmers listed as many as six major demands of the movement. These are:

1.       A legal guarantee to Minimum Support Price (MSP) based on the C2+50 percent formula

2.       Withdrawal of the draft Electricity Amendments Bill 2021 that the Centre had promised to dispose in earlier talks

3.       Removal of penal provisions on farmers in the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act 2021

4.       Withdrawal of FIRs against farmers that were booked since June 2020

5.       Suspension and arrest of Minister of State Ajay Mishra from the Union Cabinet for alleged role in Lakhimpur Kheir killings

6.       Compensation and rehabilitation of the families of at least 686 martyrs who were part of the farmers struggle for the past year

Along with this, farmers also raised concern about the Indian Maritime Fisheries Bill 2021 decried by India’s fisherfolk who are recognised as farmers as per the National Policy for Farmers 2007.

Denying government assurances on MSP, farmers said that it is “patently unjustified and illogical” to claim that a Committee to deliberate on crop diversification, zero-budget farming, and better MSP system, etc, can fulfil farmers' demands. The SKM also condemned Tomar’s comment that stubble burning has been decriminalised, by pointing out Section 15 of the AQM Bill. Farmers also questioned the Electricity Amendments Bill 2021 that is to be tabled today despite previous assurances of dismissing the same.

Farmers also questioned the FIRs on approximately 48,000 farmers in Haryana alone for charges like sedition and attempt to murder, rioting etc. In light of all this, the SKM states that the struggle will not end until the government resumes dialogue with farmers.

“Union Government cannot hope to end the farmers' protests in undemocratic, unilateral ways,” said the SKM.

Related:

SKM postpones Tractor Rally to Parliament

Farmers' movement: 12 months and still going strong!

Kranti ka Naqsha: Mapping a year of the Kisan Andolan

Union Cabinet completes formalities for repeal of contentious farm laws

Welcome repeal of laws but other demands pending: SKM to PM Modi

Farmers struggle to continue until all demands are met: SKM

Parliament repeals farm laws sans discussion, but what's next?

Farmers reiterate that the struggle has always been peasant rights not just the three farm laws

Farm Laws Repeal
Image Courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

The Farm Laws Repeal Bill that calls for the dismissal of the contentious farm laws was passed by the Parliament without any debate on the first day of the Winter Session on November 29, 2021. While this sets the precedent for a major win for farmers, leaders have pointed out that other crucial demands are yet to be addressed.

On Monday, both Houses of Parliament passed the Farm Laws Repeal Bill to dismiss the three contentious laws:

 

  • Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020
  • Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020
  • Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020

The same was done with a voice vote although Opposition party Members of Parliament (MPs) from Congress, TMC and DMK demanded a discussion of the laws.

 

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar, who tabled the Bill, wrote in the legislature that “these enactments were made for the overall socio-economic development of farmers and rural sector.” However, acknowledging that even the Supreme Court’s January 2021 order stayed the implementation of these laws, it asked to dismiss the same.

However, farmer leaders in a previous letter to Modi clarified that the repeal of the laws is only the tip of the iceberg.

“The Government of India ungraciously gives in to one of the key demands of protesting farmers with this Repeal Bill. It is worth noting that [while] it seeks to recall the laws made in 2020 that led to huge historic protests by farmers of India, in its Statement of Objects and Reasons continues to defend the laws stoutly and mentions that only a group of farmers are protesting against these laws. It links the repeal to Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, with the need of the hour being to take everyone together on the path of inclusive growth and development,” said the farmers group Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) in a joint press statement on November 28.

 

In a letter by SKM, farmers listed as many as six major demands of the movement. These are:

1.       A legal guarantee to Minimum Support Price (MSP) based on the C2+50 percent formula

2.       Withdrawal of the draft Electricity Amendments Bill 2021 that the Centre had promised to dispose in earlier talks

3.       Removal of penal provisions on farmers in the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act 2021

4.       Withdrawal of FIRs against farmers that were booked since June 2020

5.       Suspension and arrest of Minister of State Ajay Mishra from the Union Cabinet for alleged role in Lakhimpur Kheir killings

6.       Compensation and rehabilitation of the families of at least 686 martyrs who were part of the farmers struggle for the past year

Along with this, farmers also raised concern about the Indian Maritime Fisheries Bill 2021 decried by India’s fisherfolk who are recognised as farmers as per the National Policy for Farmers 2007.

Denying government assurances on MSP, farmers said that it is “patently unjustified and illogical” to claim that a Committee to deliberate on crop diversification, zero-budget farming, and better MSP system, etc, can fulfil farmers' demands. The SKM also condemned Tomar’s comment that stubble burning has been decriminalised, by pointing out Section 15 of the AQM Bill. Farmers also questioned the Electricity Amendments Bill 2021 that is to be tabled today despite previous assurances of dismissing the same.

Farmers also questioned the FIRs on approximately 48,000 farmers in Haryana alone for charges like sedition and attempt to murder, rioting etc. In light of all this, the SKM states that the struggle will not end until the government resumes dialogue with farmers.

“Union Government cannot hope to end the farmers' protests in undemocratic, unilateral ways,” said the SKM.

Related:

SKM postpones Tractor Rally to Parliament

Farmers' movement: 12 months and still going strong!

Kranti ka Naqsha: Mapping a year of the Kisan Andolan

Union Cabinet completes formalities for repeal of contentious farm laws

Welcome repeal of laws but other demands pending: SKM to PM Modi

Farmers struggle to continue until all demands are met: SKM

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SKM postpones Tractor Rally to Parliament

Farmers urge the government to assure the legalisation of MSP as well

27 Nov 2021

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Farmers group Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) postponed the tractor-trolley march to the Parliament and gave the Centre until December 4, 2021 to address the rest of the farmers' struggle demands.

Earlier, the umbrella body of farmer unions announced plans to march towards the Parliament for the entirety of the Winter Session to voice their demands before MPs. However, after November 19’s announcement of the repeal of the three contentious laws, the SKM decided to reciprocate with the move to encourage talks.

SKM leader Darshan Pal said on November 27, “When the rally towards the Parliament was announced, the government had not repealed the laws. Now, the government has assured us that these laws will be repealed. So we are suspending the programme until Saturday.”

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

He reiterated the rest of the farmers' demands such as:

- legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price (MSP)

- compensation and rehabilitation of martyred farmer families

- dismissal of penal provisions in other laws and Bills like the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 and Delhi’s Air Quality Management (AQM) legislation and

- quashing of FIRs against farmers. (Some of these FIRs were lodged by the Railways department. Similarly, farmer leader Joginder Singh stated that over 40,000 FIRs were lodged against farmers in Haryana alone.)

Acknowledging Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar’s statement that FIRs are a “state issue” the SKM leaders alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah could resolve all such FIRs, since they lead the ruling parties of central as well as the UP government.

Meanwhile, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait in another press conference said the government seems to be willing to have talks with farmers. “We hope the laws will be repealed by Saturday. But the government has not responded to the over-700 martyrs, the Lakhimpur kheri violence, FIRs and MSP – a demand that is just as important as the repeal of three laws,” he said.

Tikait said that the government should also make a separate committee with farmers to talk about legislations regarding seeds, fertilisers, dairy plans and the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme. This should be distinct from the committee that addresses MSP and other demands.

While answering media questions, he alleged that those officials who opposed the legal guarantee for MSP are part of a “gang” or a larger conspiracy to hand over farmland to corporate entities. The next SKM meeting will take place on Saturday.

Related:

Farmers' movement: 12 months and still going strong!
Kranti ka Naqsha: Mapping a year of the Kisan Andolan
Union Cabinet completes formalities for repeal of contentious farm laws
Welcome repeal of laws but other demands pending: SKM to PM Modi
Farmers struggle to continue until all demands are met: SKM

 

SKM postpones Tractor Rally to Parliament

Farmers urge the government to assure the legalisation of MSP as well

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Farmers group Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) postponed the tractor-trolley march to the Parliament and gave the Centre until December 4, 2021 to address the rest of the farmers' struggle demands.

Earlier, the umbrella body of farmer unions announced plans to march towards the Parliament for the entirety of the Winter Session to voice their demands before MPs. However, after November 19’s announcement of the repeal of the three contentious laws, the SKM decided to reciprocate with the move to encourage talks.

SKM leader Darshan Pal said on November 27, “When the rally towards the Parliament was announced, the government had not repealed the laws. Now, the government has assured us that these laws will be repealed. So we are suspending the programme until Saturday.”

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

He reiterated the rest of the farmers' demands such as:

- legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price (MSP)

- compensation and rehabilitation of martyred farmer families

- dismissal of penal provisions in other laws and Bills like the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 and Delhi’s Air Quality Management (AQM) legislation and

- quashing of FIRs against farmers. (Some of these FIRs were lodged by the Railways department. Similarly, farmer leader Joginder Singh stated that over 40,000 FIRs were lodged against farmers in Haryana alone.)

Acknowledging Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar’s statement that FIRs are a “state issue” the SKM leaders alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah could resolve all such FIRs, since they lead the ruling parties of central as well as the UP government.

Meanwhile, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait in another press conference said the government seems to be willing to have talks with farmers. “We hope the laws will be repealed by Saturday. But the government has not responded to the over-700 martyrs, the Lakhimpur kheri violence, FIRs and MSP – a demand that is just as important as the repeal of three laws,” he said.

Tikait said that the government should also make a separate committee with farmers to talk about legislations regarding seeds, fertilisers, dairy plans and the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme. This should be distinct from the committee that addresses MSP and other demands.

While answering media questions, he alleged that those officials who opposed the legal guarantee for MSP are part of a “gang” or a larger conspiracy to hand over farmland to corporate entities. The next SKM meeting will take place on Saturday.

Related:

Farmers' movement: 12 months and still going strong!
Kranti ka Naqsha: Mapping a year of the Kisan Andolan
Union Cabinet completes formalities for repeal of contentious farm laws
Welcome repeal of laws but other demands pending: SKM to PM Modi
Farmers struggle to continue until all demands are met: SKM

 

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Farmers' movement: 12 months and still going strong!

Visuals of enthusiastic protests and rallies mark the first anniversary of the peasant struggle

26 Nov 2021

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

Celebrations of the farmers' struggle anniversary continue along Delhi borders and other protest sites across India on November 26, 2021. Thousands of people near the national capital gathered in front of protest venues to mark the 12 months of demonstrations and hundreds of martyrs.

Umbrella organisation Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) farmers at Ghazipur border shared visuals of temporary barricades set by the city administration in preparation of the huge influx of peasants. However, the mass mobilisation marched ahead regardless, as seen in pictures and videos shared on SKM’s social media handles. A queue of tractors and other vehicles made a  beeline for Delhi.

“A battle won. Now it is the turn of the Yogi government. Assure legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price [MSP] to farmers, arrest Union Minister Ajay Mishra and compensate and rehabilitate farmer martyrs,” said AIKS General Secretary and SKM leader Hannan Mollah at Ghazipur.

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

“The fact that such a long struggle has to continue is a clear reflection on the insensitivity and arrogance of the Centre towards its toiling citizens. Over the course of 12 months, crores of people took part in one of the largest and longest protest movements across the world,” said SKM leader Balbir Singh Rajewal in a press release.

Similarly, SKM member and farmer leader Vikas Cesar, on Friday, addressed Tikri border protesters saying, “Even after the repeal of the three laws, the struggle has not ended. Until MSP is legally guaranteed, martyr families are not compensated and rehabilitated and FIRs against farmers are repealed, we will continue to dissent.”

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

So far, farmer unions have remained united in their stand that the call for repeal of the three laws alone will not satisfy the struggle. On Thursday, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait demanded that the motion to repeal the laws be discussed on the first day of the Winter Session of the Parliament. Addressing a Maha Dharna in Hyderabad, Telangana he urged farmers and supporters to persist with the same pressure on the government to accept other farmers' demands like the withdrawal of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill as well as penal provisions of legal regulation related to Delhi air quality.

Accordingly, women blocked national highways in Vijaypura - Bhagewadi area amidst police prevention on the following day.

Meanwhile, Karnataka’s farmers observed huge tractor rallies in Chikballapur district. Highways in Chamarajanagar, Hospet and Shimoga districts were jammed as well while mammoth crowds assembled at Srirangapatna highway and Bengaluru-Mysore highways.

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

Apart from the Government's decision and Cabinet ratification of repeal of the three anti-farmer laws, the movement achieved several victories for the farmers, common citizens and the nation at large. The movement created a sense of unified identity for the farmers, cutting across regional, religious or caste divisions. Farmers are discovering a newfound sense of dignity and pride in their identity as Farmers, and their assertion as citizens. It has deepened the roots of democracy and secularism in India.

In Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, farmers protested alongside trade unions. Tractor rallies were held in Raipur and Ranchi. Earlier, the SKM also said that solidarity actions from across the globe will begin from Friday.

Leaders will now gather on November 27 at the Singhu border to discuss future actions.

Related:

Kranti ka Naqsha: Mapping a year of the Kisan Andolan
Union Cabinet completes formalities for repeal of contentious farm laws
Lucknow Mahapanchayat: Droves of farmers celebrate first victory
Welcome repeal of laws but other demands pending: SKM to PM Modi
Farmers struggle to continue until all demands are met: SKM
Allow legal guarantee to MSP and empower farmers: Varun Gandhi to Modi 

 

Farmers' movement: 12 months and still going strong!

Visuals of enthusiastic protests and rallies mark the first anniversary of the peasant struggle

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

Celebrations of the farmers' struggle anniversary continue along Delhi borders and other protest sites across India on November 26, 2021. Thousands of people near the national capital gathered in front of protest venues to mark the 12 months of demonstrations and hundreds of martyrs.

Umbrella organisation Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) farmers at Ghazipur border shared visuals of temporary barricades set by the city administration in preparation of the huge influx of peasants. However, the mass mobilisation marched ahead regardless, as seen in pictures and videos shared on SKM’s social media handles. A queue of tractors and other vehicles made a  beeline for Delhi.

“A battle won. Now it is the turn of the Yogi government. Assure legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price [MSP] to farmers, arrest Union Minister Ajay Mishra and compensate and rehabilitate farmer martyrs,” said AIKS General Secretary and SKM leader Hannan Mollah at Ghazipur.

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

“The fact that such a long struggle has to continue is a clear reflection on the insensitivity and arrogance of the Centre towards its toiling citizens. Over the course of 12 months, crores of people took part in one of the largest and longest protest movements across the world,” said SKM leader Balbir Singh Rajewal in a press release.

Similarly, SKM member and farmer leader Vikas Cesar, on Friday, addressed Tikri border protesters saying, “Even after the repeal of the three laws, the struggle has not ended. Until MSP is legally guaranteed, martyr families are not compensated and rehabilitated and FIRs against farmers are repealed, we will continue to dissent.”

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

So far, farmer unions have remained united in their stand that the call for repeal of the three laws alone will not satisfy the struggle. On Thursday, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait demanded that the motion to repeal the laws be discussed on the first day of the Winter Session of the Parliament. Addressing a Maha Dharna in Hyderabad, Telangana he urged farmers and supporters to persist with the same pressure on the government to accept other farmers' demands like the withdrawal of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill as well as penal provisions of legal regulation related to Delhi air quality.

Accordingly, women blocked national highways in Vijaypura - Bhagewadi area amidst police prevention on the following day.

Meanwhile, Karnataka’s farmers observed huge tractor rallies in Chikballapur district. Highways in Chamarajanagar, Hospet and Shimoga districts were jammed as well while mammoth crowds assembled at Srirangapatna highway and Bengaluru-Mysore highways.

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

Farmer Struggle Anniversary

Apart from the Government's decision and Cabinet ratification of repeal of the three anti-farmer laws, the movement achieved several victories for the farmers, common citizens and the nation at large. The movement created a sense of unified identity for the farmers, cutting across regional, religious or caste divisions. Farmers are discovering a newfound sense of dignity and pride in their identity as Farmers, and their assertion as citizens. It has deepened the roots of democracy and secularism in India.

In Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, farmers protested alongside trade unions. Tractor rallies were held in Raipur and Ranchi. Earlier, the SKM also said that solidarity actions from across the globe will begin from Friday.

Leaders will now gather on November 27 at the Singhu border to discuss future actions.

Related:

Kranti ka Naqsha: Mapping a year of the Kisan Andolan
Union Cabinet completes formalities for repeal of contentious farm laws
Lucknow Mahapanchayat: Droves of farmers celebrate first victory
Welcome repeal of laws but other demands pending: SKM to PM Modi
Farmers struggle to continue until all demands are met: SKM
Allow legal guarantee to MSP and empower farmers: Varun Gandhi to Modi 

 

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Sabrang

Kranti ka Naqsha: Mapping a year of the Kisan Andolan

The arduous year-long journey in repealing the farm laws, came with many developments, meetings, attacks and ground-level mobilisations

26 Nov 2021

farmers protest

When the Simon Commission entered Lahore in 1928, members were overwhelmed by the united strength of protesters waving black flags, yelling “Simon Go Back!” The same spirit of revolution reigned victorious on November 19, 2021 when the BJP-led central government finally conceded that “the three farm laws will be repealed.”

With a year’s worth of mass mobilisations, India's farmers have lived up to India’s democratic history while uniting the whole peasantry into a single nationwide struggle against an oppressive and proto-fascist regime.

Looking back, too many developments occurred to be satisfactorily summarised in writing. Thus, SabrangIndia presents a more visual depiction of one year of the farmers’ protest in the following maps that show how protests persevered through all seasons and evolved into various forms of agitations such as Mahapanchayats and homages.

The last map also shows the growing violent aggression against this peaceful protest.

From repeated allegations of Khalistani involvement to the regime's gaslighting the nation that this was just a protest of Punjab and Haryana farmers; India’s annadaatas persevered through it all. However, as farmer leaders told Prime Minister Narendra Modi in writing, the struggle will not end until the rest of their demands are met.

These as yet unresolved demands are:

1. A legal guarantee to Minimum Support Price (MSP) based on (C2+50 percent production)

2. Withdrawal of the draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 that is listed for legislative business in the Parliament’s winter session

3. Removal of penal provisions on farmers in the ‘Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act 2021’

4. Dismissal of the hundreds of FIRs implicating thousands of farmers in the past year

5. Suspension and arrest of Union Minister Ajay Mishra, the alleged mastermind of the Lakhimpur Kheri killings

6. Compensation and rehabilitation for families of the near-700 farmers who were martyred in the struggle

On July 28, farmer leaders also voiced the concerns of fisher unions against the Indian Maritime Fisheries Bill 2021. Fisherfolk unions have been voicing their apprehensions and concerns about this Bill and farmers group Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) voiced its solidarity in their objections.

Related:

Re-Plug: 28 protests in 22 days! Kranti ka Naqsha (Mapping the Revolution) brings the latest updates

Kranti ka Naqsha, Mapping the Revolution

Kranti ka Naqsha: Mapping a year of the Kisan Andolan

The arduous year-long journey in repealing the farm laws, came with many developments, meetings, attacks and ground-level mobilisations

farmers protest

When the Simon Commission entered Lahore in 1928, members were overwhelmed by the united strength of protesters waving black flags, yelling “Simon Go Back!” The same spirit of revolution reigned victorious on November 19, 2021 when the BJP-led central government finally conceded that “the three farm laws will be repealed.”

With a year’s worth of mass mobilisations, India's farmers have lived up to India’s democratic history while uniting the whole peasantry into a single nationwide struggle against an oppressive and proto-fascist regime.

Looking back, too many developments occurred to be satisfactorily summarised in writing. Thus, SabrangIndia presents a more visual depiction of one year of the farmers’ protest in the following maps that show how protests persevered through all seasons and evolved into various forms of agitations such as Mahapanchayats and homages.

The last map also shows the growing violent aggression against this peaceful protest.

From repeated allegations of Khalistani involvement to the regime's gaslighting the nation that this was just a protest of Punjab and Haryana farmers; India’s annadaatas persevered through it all. However, as farmer leaders told Prime Minister Narendra Modi in writing, the struggle will not end until the rest of their demands are met.

These as yet unresolved demands are:

1. A legal guarantee to Minimum Support Price (MSP) based on (C2+50 percent production)

2. Withdrawal of the draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 that is listed for legislative business in the Parliament’s winter session

3. Removal of penal provisions on farmers in the ‘Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act 2021’

4. Dismissal of the hundreds of FIRs implicating thousands of farmers in the past year

5. Suspension and arrest of Union Minister Ajay Mishra, the alleged mastermind of the Lakhimpur Kheri killings

6. Compensation and rehabilitation for families of the near-700 farmers who were martyred in the struggle

On July 28, farmer leaders also voiced the concerns of fisher unions against the Indian Maritime Fisheries Bill 2021. Fisherfolk unions have been voicing their apprehensions and concerns about this Bill and farmers group Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) voiced its solidarity in their objections.

Related:

Re-Plug: 28 protests in 22 days! Kranti ka Naqsha (Mapping the Revolution) brings the latest updates

Kranti ka Naqsha, Mapping the Revolution

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Union Cabinet completes formalities for repeal of contentious farm laws

SKM asserts farmers will not vacate protest sites until all demands are met

25 Nov 2021

farmers protest

“The Union Cabinet completed the formalities to repeal the three farm laws and in the upcoming session it will be our priority to repeal the same in the Parliament,” said Union Minister Anurag Thakur during a press briefing on November 24, 2021.

On Wednesday, Thakur repeatedly told mediapersons that Prime Minister Narendra Modi tabled the proposal before the Cabinet to repealed Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act. However, there was no specific mention of plans to accept the farmers’ other major demand for legalisation of Minimum Support Price (MSP).

Therefore, while acknowledging the green light of the Centre, farmers group Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) focused on the Parliament's Bulletin related to 26 Bills listed for legislative business in the Winter Session. This list includes the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 that the central government had promised to dismiss during earlier talks with farmer leaders. Further, the SKM noted the inclusion of the Indian Maritime Fisheries Bill 2021 – a document that worries fisherfolk, who are also farmers as per the India's National Policy for Farmers 2007.

“Fisher unions have been voicing their apprehensions and concerns about this Bill and the SKM highlighted this issue on July 28 as well. We also wrote to the Prime Minister about farmers' intention to continue with the agitation until pending demands are met,” said SKM leaders in a joint press release.

Aside from the aforementioned, farmers demand the removal of penal provisions on farmers in the ‘Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act 2021’, dismissal of the hundreds of FIRs implicating thousands of farmers in the past year, compensation and rehabilitation for families of the near-700 farm martyrs and suspension and arrest of Union Minister Ajay Mishra, the alleged mastermind of the Lakhimpur Kheri killings.

Uttar Pradesh farmers noted that Mishra was kept out of inauguration events organised by local sugar mills in Lakhimpur Kheri following the ultimatum issued by the SKM. Still, farmers questioned why he continues to hold a position in the Union Cabinet.

Regarding the MSP demand, farmers claim a market survey shows that a majority of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) supporters also want MSP to be legally guaranteed.

“On the other hand, official data from the 77th Round of NSO show that a vast majority of farmers have not received MSP. This reinforces the demand for legally-guaranteed MSP,” said SKM leader Balbir Singh Rajewal.

As India approaches the anniversary of the farmers' struggle, Karnataka’s peasantry declares it will mark November 26 by protesting on streets, highways in 25 locations across the state. Vehicle rallies will be observed at Srirangapatna and Chadalapura in Chikballapur district. Similarly, Tamil Nadu’ protesters will rally with trade unions in all district headquarters. Such tractor rallies are planned in many other state capitals like Patna, Raipur and Ranchi. The former rally left Gariaband on November 25 morning. In Kolkata, protest events will take place on Thursday and Friday. 

In Telangana’s Hyderabad, a Maha Dharna took place on Thursday at the Dharna Chowk near Indira Park. Protesters held up a list of martyrs and paid homage to them.

farmers protest

Meanwhile, thousands of farmers near Delhi will march towards the border protest sites with tractors and ration and other supplies.

Related:

Lucknow Mahapanchayat: Droves of farmers celebrate first victory

Welcome repeal of laws but other demands pending: SKM to PM Modi

Farmers struggle to continue until all demands are met: SKM

Allow legal guarantee to MSP and empower farmers: Varun Gandhi to Modi

Union Cabinet completes formalities for repeal of contentious farm laws

SKM asserts farmers will not vacate protest sites until all demands are met

farmers protest

“The Union Cabinet completed the formalities to repeal the three farm laws and in the upcoming session it will be our priority to repeal the same in the Parliament,” said Union Minister Anurag Thakur during a press briefing on November 24, 2021.

On Wednesday, Thakur repeatedly told mediapersons that Prime Minister Narendra Modi tabled the proposal before the Cabinet to repealed Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act. However, there was no specific mention of plans to accept the farmers’ other major demand for legalisation of Minimum Support Price (MSP).

Therefore, while acknowledging the green light of the Centre, farmers group Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) focused on the Parliament's Bulletin related to 26 Bills listed for legislative business in the Winter Session. This list includes the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 that the central government had promised to dismiss during earlier talks with farmer leaders. Further, the SKM noted the inclusion of the Indian Maritime Fisheries Bill 2021 – a document that worries fisherfolk, who are also farmers as per the India's National Policy for Farmers 2007.

“Fisher unions have been voicing their apprehensions and concerns about this Bill and the SKM highlighted this issue on July 28 as well. We also wrote to the Prime Minister about farmers' intention to continue with the agitation until pending demands are met,” said SKM leaders in a joint press release.

Aside from the aforementioned, farmers demand the removal of penal provisions on farmers in the ‘Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act 2021’, dismissal of the hundreds of FIRs implicating thousands of farmers in the past year, compensation and rehabilitation for families of the near-700 farm martyrs and suspension and arrest of Union Minister Ajay Mishra, the alleged mastermind of the Lakhimpur Kheri killings.

Uttar Pradesh farmers noted that Mishra was kept out of inauguration events organised by local sugar mills in Lakhimpur Kheri following the ultimatum issued by the SKM. Still, farmers questioned why he continues to hold a position in the Union Cabinet.

Regarding the MSP demand, farmers claim a market survey shows that a majority of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) supporters also want MSP to be legally guaranteed.

“On the other hand, official data from the 77th Round of NSO show that a vast majority of farmers have not received MSP. This reinforces the demand for legally-guaranteed MSP,” said SKM leader Balbir Singh Rajewal.

As India approaches the anniversary of the farmers' struggle, Karnataka’s peasantry declares it will mark November 26 by protesting on streets, highways in 25 locations across the state. Vehicle rallies will be observed at Srirangapatna and Chadalapura in Chikballapur district. Similarly, Tamil Nadu’ protesters will rally with trade unions in all district headquarters. Such tractor rallies are planned in many other state capitals like Patna, Raipur and Ranchi. The former rally left Gariaband on November 25 morning. In Kolkata, protest events will take place on Thursday and Friday. 

In Telangana’s Hyderabad, a Maha Dharna took place on Thursday at the Dharna Chowk near Indira Park. Protesters held up a list of martyrs and paid homage to them.

farmers protest

Meanwhile, thousands of farmers near Delhi will march towards the border protest sites with tractors and ration and other supplies.

Related:

Lucknow Mahapanchayat: Droves of farmers celebrate first victory

Welcome repeal of laws but other demands pending: SKM to PM Modi

Farmers struggle to continue until all demands are met: SKM

Allow legal guarantee to MSP and empower farmers: Varun Gandhi to Modi

Related Articles


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NBDSA finds Zee News violated Code of Ethics in coverage of Farmers’ Protest

Use of provocative captions condemned, Zee news ordered to take down videos

23 Nov 2021

Zee news

Zee News is in the dock yet again, this time for its coverage of the farmers’ protest, specifically the coverage in the run up to the tractor rally that was being planned by farmers for Republic Day.

The National Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) has found that the channel was in “clear violation of the Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards and Specific Guideline Covering Reportage, Fundamental Standards and Guidelines 1 and 2” in case of two shows aired before Republic Day.

This was in response to a complaint by one Mr. Indrajeet Ghorpade, who drew attention to the two shows by Zee News:

· Tal Thok Ke: Khalistan se kab saawdhan hoga Kisan (aired on January 19, 2021)

· Tal Thok Ke: Nahi mane Kisan toh kya Republic Day par hoga ‘Grihyuddh’? (aired January 20, 2021)

The complainant had highlighted how the reportage had violated guidelines that prohibit channels from crating “panic, distress or undue fear”, mixing facts with “opinion, analysis or comment”, or “giving undue prominence to any particular view”. Further the complainant stated that in both programmes, unverified videos from social media, showing tractors with modification, were aired.

But what was perhaps most shocking was the blatant use of captions like:

·  War against the Republic

·  Civil War on Republic Day

·  Tractor March or War

·  Tractors are modified into armoured vehicles

·  Conspiracy of a War against the Republic

·  Khalistan Dominates the Protest

·  When will the farmer become more careful about Khalistan?

All of these and many more captions were found by the NBDSA to be in “clear violation of the Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards and Specific Guideline Covering Reportage, Fundamental Standards and Guidelines 1 and 2.”

The NBDSA also expressed its “disapproval to the broadcaster on the use of the aforementioned Headlines/Taglines and decided to issue Specific Guidelines relating to broadcast/publishing of Taglines, Hashtags and use of Images/Photographs. It further directed Zee News to take down the videos of the aforementioned broadcast and confirm the same in writing to it in 7 days.

The complete order may be read here: 

NBDSA

NBDSA

 

Related:

Kisan Ganatantra Parade: How the mainstream media deliberately ignored ground realities

A glance at the nationwide Kisan Ganatantra Parade

Anti-social elements infiltrated Parade to discredit farmers struggle: SKM

NBDSA finds Zee News violated Code of Ethics in coverage of Farmers’ Protest

Use of provocative captions condemned, Zee news ordered to take down videos

Zee news

Zee News is in the dock yet again, this time for its coverage of the farmers’ protest, specifically the coverage in the run up to the tractor rally that was being planned by farmers for Republic Day.

The National Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) has found that the channel was in “clear violation of the Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards and Specific Guideline Covering Reportage, Fundamental Standards and Guidelines 1 and 2” in case of two shows aired before Republic Day.

This was in response to a complaint by one Mr. Indrajeet Ghorpade, who drew attention to the two shows by Zee News:

· Tal Thok Ke: Khalistan se kab saawdhan hoga Kisan (aired on January 19, 2021)

· Tal Thok Ke: Nahi mane Kisan toh kya Republic Day par hoga ‘Grihyuddh’? (aired January 20, 2021)

The complainant had highlighted how the reportage had violated guidelines that prohibit channels from crating “panic, distress or undue fear”, mixing facts with “opinion, analysis or comment”, or “giving undue prominence to any particular view”. Further the complainant stated that in both programmes, unverified videos from social media, showing tractors with modification, were aired.

But what was perhaps most shocking was the blatant use of captions like:

·  War against the Republic

·  Civil War on Republic Day

·  Tractor March or War

·  Tractors are modified into armoured vehicles

·  Conspiracy of a War against the Republic

·  Khalistan Dominates the Protest

·  When will the farmer become more careful about Khalistan?

All of these and many more captions were found by the NBDSA to be in “clear violation of the Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards and Specific Guideline Covering Reportage, Fundamental Standards and Guidelines 1 and 2.”

The NBDSA also expressed its “disapproval to the broadcaster on the use of the aforementioned Headlines/Taglines and decided to issue Specific Guidelines relating to broadcast/publishing of Taglines, Hashtags and use of Images/Photographs. It further directed Zee News to take down the videos of the aforementioned broadcast and confirm the same in writing to it in 7 days.

The complete order may be read here: 

NBDSA

NBDSA

 

Related:

Kisan Ganatantra Parade: How the mainstream media deliberately ignored ground realities

A glance at the nationwide Kisan Ganatantra Parade

Anti-social elements infiltrated Parade to discredit farmers struggle: SKM

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Lucknow Mahapanchayat: Droves of farmers celebrate first victory

SKM congratulates farmers and resolves to push for MSP and similar demands as well

22 Nov 2021

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Reminiscent of the September Mahapanchayat, large delegations of farmers travelled to Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on November 22, 2021 to join the first mass mobilisation of peasants since the repeal of the three farm laws.

On Monday, farmers group Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) leaders assembled in the city’s Eco Garden along with a sea of farmers from various states. Speakers congratulated farmers on what they called “the first victory” of the struggle when Prime Minister Narendra Modi conceded to withdrawing the forcibly-passed laws.

“The government is giving too little even now, even though there were several demands on the table,” said SKM leaders in a joint statement.

They reminded the government that authorities were yet to respond to other crucial demands like the legal guarantee to Minimum Support Price (MSP), withdrawal of Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021, dismissal of penal provisions in the Delhi air quality regulation and related Act. Further, the SKM also demanded that FIRs against farmers be withdrawn, Union Minister Ajay Mishra be suspended and arrested for his role in the Lakhimpur Kheri killings, and martyr families be compensated and rehabilitated.

Since the Mahapanchayat took place in UP, families of farmers martyred in the October 3 killings were brought on the stage and felicitated. All leaders called for strict action against Mishra for a fair trial in court.

“We will show this government the same strength during the UP 2022 elections that we showed in Punjab earlier,” said SKM leader Darshan Pal.

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

He and other leaders also voiced the concerns of sugarcane farmers who are yet to be paid their dues by the state government. Farmer leaders noted that support of political parties and civil society groups continues to amplify SKM demands.

Reminding the struggle to be a movement of India’s masses, the SKM also expressed condolences for the demise of the National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) Chairperson Narendra Patil on Monday. The struggles of fishers and fishing communities all over India, acknowledged the SKM.

Meanwhile, Singhu border farmers welcomed Karnataka’s K. Nagaraj who walked 5,100 kms for 185 days, in a solo padayatra from MM Hills for farmers. He covered 31 Karnataka districts before heading to Delhi. Throughout the journey, he spread the message of protesting farmers everywhere. Similarly, Jagdish Singh cycled from Amritsar to Lucknow to attend the Lucknow Kisan Mahapanchayat.

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Related:

Welcome repeal of laws but other demands pending: SKM to PM Modi
Farmers struggle to continue until all demands are met: SKM
Will repeal of Farm Laws help BJP win UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand elections?
SC appoints retired P&H HC judge Rakesh Jain to monitor Lakhimpur Kheri probe
New farmer suicide data showcases continuing social inequalities

Lucknow Mahapanchayat: Droves of farmers celebrate first victory

SKM congratulates farmers and resolves to push for MSP and similar demands as well

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Reminiscent of the September Mahapanchayat, large delegations of farmers travelled to Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on November 22, 2021 to join the first mass mobilisation of peasants since the repeal of the three farm laws.

On Monday, farmers group Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) leaders assembled in the city’s Eco Garden along with a sea of farmers from various states. Speakers congratulated farmers on what they called “the first victory” of the struggle when Prime Minister Narendra Modi conceded to withdrawing the forcibly-passed laws.

“The government is giving too little even now, even though there were several demands on the table,” said SKM leaders in a joint statement.

They reminded the government that authorities were yet to respond to other crucial demands like the legal guarantee to Minimum Support Price (MSP), withdrawal of Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021, dismissal of penal provisions in the Delhi air quality regulation and related Act. Further, the SKM also demanded that FIRs against farmers be withdrawn, Union Minister Ajay Mishra be suspended and arrested for his role in the Lakhimpur Kheri killings, and martyr families be compensated and rehabilitated.

Since the Mahapanchayat took place in UP, families of farmers martyred in the October 3 killings were brought on the stage and felicitated. All leaders called for strict action against Mishra for a fair trial in court.

“We will show this government the same strength during the UP 2022 elections that we showed in Punjab earlier,” said SKM leader Darshan Pal.

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

He and other leaders also voiced the concerns of sugarcane farmers who are yet to be paid their dues by the state government. Farmer leaders noted that support of political parties and civil society groups continues to amplify SKM demands.

Reminding the struggle to be a movement of India’s masses, the SKM also expressed condolences for the demise of the National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) Chairperson Narendra Patil on Monday. The struggles of fishers and fishing communities all over India, acknowledged the SKM.

Meanwhile, Singhu border farmers welcomed Karnataka’s K. Nagaraj who walked 5,100 kms for 185 days, in a solo padayatra from MM Hills for farmers. He covered 31 Karnataka districts before heading to Delhi. Throughout the journey, he spread the message of protesting farmers everywhere. Similarly, Jagdish Singh cycled from Amritsar to Lucknow to attend the Lucknow Kisan Mahapanchayat.

Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Related:

Welcome repeal of laws but other demands pending: SKM to PM Modi
Farmers struggle to continue until all demands are met: SKM
Will repeal of Farm Laws help BJP win UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand elections?
SC appoints retired P&H HC judge Rakesh Jain to monitor Lakhimpur Kheri probe
New farmer suicide data showcases continuing social inequalities

Related Articles


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