Image courtesy: NDTV
Andolans (protests) liberated India from colonial rulers and that is why we are proud to be ‘Andolan jivi,’ said farmers organisation Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on February 8, 2021 in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech during Rajya Sabha proceedings.
Condemning his comments, the SKM said, “It is the BJP and its predecessors that never did any andolan against Britishers and they were always against andolans, they are still scared of public movements.”
Similarly, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) condemned Modi for his remarks that they say “insulting farmers” and demanded immediate withdrawal and apology for the derogatory remarks. AIKS General Secretary Hannan Mollah said such an insult comes from “a ‘Corporate Jeevi’ Prime Minister.
Accordingly, the AIKS called for nationwide massive protests against the insult of the farming community and prepared for more determined mass struggles across the country.
“Each farmer as a citizen has the right to protest as per the Constitution of India, and the Prime Minister abusing his power to malign the farmers struggling to protect their livelihood is highly condemnable. The AIKS appeals to all democratic sections, political parties and mass and class movements to come forward to condemn this insult of farmers by the Prime Minister,” he said.
Regarding Modi’s new acronym Foreign Destructive Ideology (FDI,) the SKM pointed out that its members distanced themselves from any such FDI but support constructive democratic processes that uphold basic human rights anywhere in the world. Leaders also said that they expect similar reciprocation from all like-minded citizens across the globe because “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.
The AIKS called Modi’s FDI talk “perfectly fascist, which his own RSS has taken from the likes of its mentors Hitler and Mussolini.”
Farmer leaders also rebuked Modi’s claim that farmers organisations are unable to point out the reason for their struggle. They called it the government’s game plan to malign the farmers struggle.
“The agrarian crisis is rampant and two farmers [die by] suicide every hour in India. The reason is that cultivation is economically unviable due to the lack of remunerative price and resultant indebtedness… We want to remind the Prime Minister that the BJP in its election manifesto of 2014 promised to implement MSP at C2+50 percent. Instead, the Modi government surrendered agriculture and the food security to corporates,” said Hannan Mollah.
Considering all this, the SKM questioned the Government of India’s commitment in seriously resolving farmers’ demands. Pointing out that the government is introducing the Electricity Amendment Bill 2021 despite assuring its withdrawal, SKM leaders blamed the central government’s adamant attitude for creating more andolan jivis.
Farmers also dismissed the part of Modi’s speech addressing Minimum Support Price (MSP) stating that empty statements will not benefit farmers and that such meaningless statements were made in the past too.
“Farmers will benefit in reality and in an equitable as well as sustainable manner only if MSP is made into a legal guarantee for all crops,” said the SKM.
Farmers denounced the manner in which the Prime Minister rammed through pro-corporate, anti-farmer and anti-people farm laws without consulting a single farmers organisation or a single state government, and even the Parliament itself. As such, they emphasised that farmers will not step back till demands for repeal of the three laws, legally guaranteed MSP, withdrawal of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020 and dropping of the anti-farmer clauses of the Pollution Ordinance are realised.
Leaders also thanked the continued support to the farmers’ struggle by the mass of gatherers at Kisan Mahapanchayats in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. The SKM considered these panchayats highly encouraging and said that protesting farmers at the borders are strengthened by the same. Similarly, they condemned the suppression of people’s voices by deleting Twitter accounts or removing music videos from YouTube.