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.
“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 Until MSP is legally guaranteed, martyr families are not compensated and rehabilitated and FIRs against farmers are repealed, we will continue to dissent.”
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.
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.
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