Kisan Mukti Yatra gets off to a strong start in south India; Telangana resonates with demands of freedom from debt and remunerative prices
Hyderabad/Suryapet/Nakrekal/Khammam, Sept 16th, 2017: The nationwide Kisan Mukti Yatra saw the participation of thousands of farmers in Telangana on the first day of its South India leg. More than 25 organisations joined hands to highlight farmers’ legitimate demands around debt relief and profitable prices.
The Yatra is being organised by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) which consists of more than 150 farmer organisations. Prominent leaders and activists who joined the yatra include V.M Singh (Convenor, AIKSCC), Raju Shetty (Member of Parliament), Prof. Kodandram (Telangana JAC), Yogendra Yadav (President, Swaraj India), Dr. Sunilam (Kisan Sangharsh Samiti), Malla Reddy (AIKS), Vemulapalli Venkataramaiah (AIKMS) and others.
Addressing a large gathering of farmers in Suryapet, V.M Singh recalled how the Modi government has brazenly reneged on its poll promise of implementing assured price with 50% margin over cost of cultivation.
Raju Shetty urged farmers to join in large numbers the Kisan Mukti Sansad on November 20th 2017 in Delhi to make the Centre accountable towards farmers’ well-being.
Women farmers from Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch lamented the lack of remunerative prices at the end of a season full of hardships and risks.
Exhorting Telangana farmers not to be left behind in a series of victorious farmers’ struggles in different states of India in the recent past, Yogendra Yadav reminded them of Telangana’s rich history of peasant uprisings.
Pointing out that the Telangana government is on the one hand urging farmers to collectivise themselves better, Prof. Kodandaram highlighted the duplicity of the government in repressing farmers’ movements in reality.
Malla Reddy explained that the loan waiver scheme of Telangana government with its many shortcomings ended up burdening farmers more than relieving from debt. As the loan waiver debate hots up in the country there is much to learn from Telangana on how not to design loan waivers, he said.
Dr. Sunilam cautioned governments to take note of the unprecedented confluence of all farm organisations in the country which will only gather more strength in the days to come.