Press Release of Lok Raj Sangathan, December 3, 2020
Lok Raj Sangathan strongly condemns the refusal of the central government to address the concerns of the lakhs of farmers who are agitating to demand the withdrawal of the recently passed anti-farmer laws and the Electricity Amendment Bill, 2000.
Lakhs of farmers, including women, men and children, have set out on their march to Delhi, They are protesting against laws which threaten to destroy even the limited support which they currently receive in the form of Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for wheat and rice, laws which will lead to complete corporate domination of agricultural trade.
This agitation has been led by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha. The All-India Kisan Sangarsh Coordinating Committee (AIKSCC), Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh and several constituents of the Bharatiya Kisan Union had convened to establish the Morcha. This Front, which has the support of over 500 farmers’ organisations, made the decision at a meeting on 19th November to march to Delhi. The call of ‘Dilli Chalo’ was given for 26th-27th November.
In spite of the attempts of the Haryana government to seal the borders, put up barricades and dig up pits in order to block their march, the farmers have succeeded in reaching the Delhi border. They have overcome the barricades, trenches, water cannons and tear gas. They are now camping at the Singhu and Tikri Borders. The Chilla border on Noida link road has now been blocked by the Delhi Police. the strong arm tactics of the BJP government are reminiscent of brutal colonial practices and deserve to be condemned in the strongest terms. The farmers have expressed their determination not to go back home until their demands are addressed. They have announced that they are prepared to continue the struggle even for six months, and have come with enough supply of food.
Having failed to prevent them from reaching the capital city, the party in charge of the central government is now engaged in spreading all kinds of lies and slander through Television and social media, in order to discredit the struggle of the farmers.
The Prime Minister keeps on repeating the claim that the three new laws give farmers the freedom to sell their products to anyone they please. In actual fact, farmers are already free to do so. The reason they prefer to sell at the state regulated markets is because they know from experience that they are likely to receive better prices there.
Spokesmen of the ruling BJP claim that farmers are being misled by artiyas and other traditional middlemen, thereby implying that farmers are gullible fools. However, farmers know very well what is good for them. They clearly understand that the new laws are designed to give Indian and foreign trading companies the freedom to purchase agricultural produce from any part of the country, at the lowest possible price. It will lead to the replacement of traditional middlemen by giant corporations, Indian and foreign.
It is being said that farmers are being misled by the Congress and other opposition parties. This is contradicted by the fact that the agitating farmers are not permitting any such party to unfurl its banners or raise its slogans at the protest sites.
Unable to convince the farmers that they stand to gain from these laws, those in power are resorting to slanderous propaganda. Baseless accusations are being made that the farmers’ agitation has links with Khalistani extremists and Maoists, and with the anti-CAA protestors.
The corporate controlled media keeps referring to the agitation as that of Punjab farmers. In actual fact, the farmers of Punjab have been joined by thousands of farmers from other states, including Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. They enjoy the support of peasant organisations all over the country as well as internationally.
On the morning of 27th November, the representatives of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha sent a letter to the Prime Minister making the following demands:
Ensure that the farmers have a free and safe passage into Delhi without creating a situation where any untoward incident is justified later on, as having been necessitated, which will cause a completely avoidable break away from the very peaceful manner that we have adopted so far;
Allot us a space like Ramlila Maidan where we can gather and also hold talks with the government.
Call the all-India/regional platforms of the farmers for sincere discussions with senior ministers of your cabinet on our demands to repeal the 3 Farm Acts and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020.
Farmers from all regions are waging a united struggle, rising above all differences in party and regional affiliations. They have marched towards the capital as one united force, determined to resist the attempt of the government to establish corporate stranglehold over their lives, their land and livelihood.
The farmers of our country are boldly asserting their right to have a say in decisions that affect their lives. They are asserting their right not to accept laws that will lead to their ruin.
Lok Raj Sangathan believes that it is the duty of the State to guarantee security of livelihood to all farmers, by ensuring, among other things, procurement of all agricultural produce at remunerative prices. Those who grow the crops cannot be excluded from the process of making decisions on agricultural trade. Democracy has no meaning if the vast majority of people are excluded from the process of making decisions that vitally affect their lives.
Lok Raj Sangathan stands shoulder to shoulder with the farmers’ struggle and is committed to do everything possible to ensure its victory!