Over 470 farmers martyred but farmers stand resolute against anti-people laws!

India’s annadaatas celebrate the success of the May 26 protest and mourn the loss of 477 comrades-in-arms, who participated in the pan-India movement.

Farmers body Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) congratulated India’s farmers for the success of the May 26, 2021 Protest Day in face of many trials, not least of which are the deaths of over 470 farmers since the beginning of the nationwide struggle.

On May 22, farmers recorded as many as 477 deaths since November 24, 2020 when the struggle 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, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act – began. More concerning are the 31 suicides recorded in Punjab, Haryana and one death in Tamil Nadu of farmers.

In an effort to lessen such cases, SKM members have already tagged various suicide helpline contacts such as Aasra NGO’s number 9820466726 and email id aasrahelpline@yahoo.com. As the second wave of Covid-19 washed over India, reports of farmers succumbing to Covid-19 were also reported. Around nine farmers between the ages of 45-80 years died due to the infection, while one person died due to non-Covid complications. This, despite efforts by SKM leaders raising social distancing awareness among protesters and trying to arrange vaccine campaigns at protest sites.

“Even during the dangerous surge of the Covid-19 pandemic, annadaatas of India are forced to remain on streets for half a year. Deeply conscious of the risks of the pandemic, we have no desire to expose protesting farmers r anyone else to health hazards,” said farmers during earlier pleas to repeal the three agricultural laws.

Yet as the disagreement between farmers and the Centre continued, farmers continued the protest even during harvest season. In April, Shaheed Smaraks (memorials yo the dead) were also constructed near various protest sites to honour the martyrs.

Speaking on the morale and resolve of India’s peasantry in face of such deaths, SKM leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said in a press release, “Even though the farmers’ agitation has had to continue for six long months with many hardships, including the martyrdom of more than 470 farmers, protestors [are] prepared to continue for however longer it takes. Government of India can choose to remain unwise in stretching this longer without resolving the demands of the farmers, but this would be at its own loss, and at the expense of BJP’s supporter base.”

Farmers’ Protest Day

Peasants across India flooded social media with images of black flags and burning effigies to dissent against the anti-people-dubbed laws of the central government.

“Farmers have kept up the struggle for six long months, despite bitter cold winters, rain, scorching heat and braved severe repression and defamation by the BJP-RSS and their agents. There have been over 470 farmer martyrs in the last six months. But Modi, like Nero, still keeps fiddling as India burns, with peacocks for company,” said All India Kisan Sabha President Ashok Dhawale.

Numbers at protest sites near Delhi borders swelled significantly with thousands of people joining the protest. Apart from these, several places of Himachal Pradesh and terai region of Uttarakhand; every district of Punjab and Haryana; Rayagada and other places of Odisha and Kolkata and other places of West Bengal, Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir, places in Tripura and Assam all witnessed lakhs of farmers and others marked the day in various ways.

Karnataka: Chamarajanagar, Mysuru, Kolar, Vijaynagar, Ramanagara, Belagavi, Dharwad, Bangalore, etc.

Andhra Pradesh: Kurnool, Anantapur, Visakhapatnam, Krishna, etc.

Maharashtra: Amravati, Nanded, Nandurbar, Nagpur, Sangli, Parbhani, Thane, Beed, Sholapur, Buldanha, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Satara, Palghar, Jalgaon, Nashik, Mumbai, etc.

Bihar: Begusarai, Vaishali, Purnea, West Champaran, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Sitamarhi, Siwan, Jehanabad, Ara, Bhojpur, Patna, etc.

Uttar Pradesh: Bareilly, Sitapur, Benaras, Balliyan, Mathura, etc.

Tamil Nadu: Sivaganga, Dharmapuri, Tanjore, Tirunelveli, Coimbatore, Karur, Chennai

Rajasthan: Jhunjhunu, Bharatpur, Shri Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, etc.



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