Around 200 women and men farmers assembled for the Kisan Mazdoor mahapanchayat at Varanasi city of Uttar Pradesh on March 22, 2021, said the All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA).
Speakers addressed the group of supporters, most of whom were women, to encourage them to continue agitations against the three farm laws forcibly passed by the central government: the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance & Farm Services Act, the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.
Regarding the struggle against the laws, All India Kisan Mazdoor State Secretary Ishwari Prasad Kushwaha said, “If we stop now, then we lose. But if we manage to have the laws withdrawn, then we win! Bhagat Singh, until his last breath, fought against imperialism. The same imperialism has again appeared in another form to destroy Indian economy. In line with India’s history, we need to fight back against this attack on our agri-based homeland.”
Similarly, Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML) State Secretary Sudhakar Yadav warned that the new laws will worsen the hunger situation in India. He reiterated that the country’s peasants only wanted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw the laws and provide provisions for Minimum Support Price (MSP.) He also pointed out that for the last four months farmers across India have organised panchayats and dharnas against these laws.
“Yet the government fails to repeal the laws to cater to the demands of private corporates such as Adani and Ambani. We want to say with this mahapanchayat that peasants will fight this anti-farmer, anti-worker laws,” said Yadav.
Senior social activist and Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) State Coordinator Dr. Muniza Khan also addressed the gathering on the eve of Bhagat Singh Shahadat Diwas. She said, “Bhagat Singh would have been proud to see the peasant agitations in the country today.” Dr Khan also applauded the women present who had come with placards and flags to support the national movement.
Although a humble gathering, participants came to Shastri Ghat with flags and placards to show their enthusiasm.