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Every revolution needs a Long March: Farmers’ Rally enters Mumbai

Sabrangindia Staff 11 Mar 2018

As the agrarian crisis in India has deepened, no lesser than 25,000 farmers are marching their way to Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, to register their just demands and draw our attention towards the gravity of the crisis.

 
They reached Bhiwandi, Maharashtra today under the leadership of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and will reach Mumbai on Sunday.
 
Enough is enough
 
Though Indian farmers have faced a series of crises including large number of pesticide deaths and suicides reported from regions like Vidarbha owing to serious debt crisis and competitive international markets, they have intensified their protests since last year. Policies like demonetization exposed the fissures in agriculture even further as the markets, produce and sales remained impacted for many months with no healing in sight.
 
“Enough is enough. Our patience has ended now. We have been seeking the same demands from last year. But the government is not interested in listening to us. We are not going to give up till the government listens to us. We are going to gherao the Assembly indefinitely” said Ashok Dhawle, leader of the Kisan Sabha.
 
Our rights are inter-twined
 
However, the farmers are not only demanding farmers’ rights. That apart they are also concerned about rights of Adivasis. A farmer participating in the rally said, “The Forest Act came into being in 2005. But Adivasis haven't got land rights. Even today, lakhs of farmers till their traditional lands in the middle of forests. These are their ancestral lands. But they have still not got ownership rights. Why should they keep suffering despite a legislation to their rescue?”
 
This gives a holistic approach to the issues of farmers and Adivasis which are inherently linked to the questions of land ownership, issues of markets opening up to global competitors with least support from Indian government and a sustainable method of irrigation. Not only this, farmers also suffer when it comes to the Minimum Support Prices. For a long time now, the farmers are demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report without much intervention from the government.
 
Shankar Waghere, who belongs to the Koli Mahadev community, came from Nalegaon village in Dindori taluka of Nashik and joined the rally from there. He walked 28 kilometres by foot to join the rally. Waghere expresses, “The production cost for an acre is 12,000 rupees. If the rains are good, we get 15 quintals of rice [per acre],” he says. “The current [market] rate is 10 rupees a kilo [Rs. 1,000 per quintal]. How will we sustain? When I got to know of the march, I decided I will participate, come what may.” Waghere is talking about rice cultivation here.
 
 
Though the government announced a loan waiver last year following the unprecedented upsurge by farmers, it did not stick to its own words.
 
A Monday unlike any other
 
The long march, apart from farmers of Maharashtra namely Vidarbha, Marathwada, Khandesh , consists of adivasis from many interior regions of the state. They reached Nashik on March 6 and have covered nearly 150 kilometres in five days.
 
They will enter Mumbai this Sunday through Mulund check Naka and take a halt at Ghatkopar. Monday morning will see them marching towards the State Assembly, which is currently in session. Thereafter they plan to ghearo the assembly.


After a long day of walking, some farmers sing and dance at night; others like Waghere are exhausted; soon, everyone rests for the night under the open sky. Credit: Shrirang Swarge/People’s Archive of Rural India
 

 After a long day of walking, some farmers sing and dance at night; others like Waghere are exhausted; soon, everyone rests for the night under the open sky. Credit: Shrirang Swarge/People’s Archive of Rural India


Thousands of farmers started the morcha from CBS Chowk in Nashik on March 6, to highlight their demands,
which the government has repeatedly ignored Source : Pari network


Photo credit: Alka Dhupkar Mumbai Mirror Facebook post




https://www.sabrangindia.in/article/rajasthan-kisan-struggle-intensifies-leaders-remain-arrested-demands-unfulfilled
https://www.sabrangindia.in/article/2018-union-budget-really-pro-farmer-budget
 

Every revolution needs a Long March: Farmers’ Rally enters Mumbai

As the agrarian crisis in India has deepened, no lesser than 25,000 farmers are marching their way to Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, to register their just demands and draw our attention towards the gravity of the crisis.

 
They reached Bhiwandi, Maharashtra today under the leadership of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and will reach Mumbai on Sunday.
 
Enough is enough
 
Though Indian farmers have faced a series of crises including large number of pesticide deaths and suicides reported from regions like Vidarbha owing to serious debt crisis and competitive international markets, they have intensified their protests since last year. Policies like demonetization exposed the fissures in agriculture even further as the markets, produce and sales remained impacted for many months with no healing in sight.
 
“Enough is enough. Our patience has ended now. We have been seeking the same demands from last year. But the government is not interested in listening to us. We are not going to give up till the government listens to us. We are going to gherao the Assembly indefinitely” said Ashok Dhawle, leader of the Kisan Sabha.
 
Our rights are inter-twined
 
However, the farmers are not only demanding farmers’ rights. That apart they are also concerned about rights of Adivasis. A farmer participating in the rally said, “The Forest Act came into being in 2005. But Adivasis haven't got land rights. Even today, lakhs of farmers till their traditional lands in the middle of forests. These are their ancestral lands. But they have still not got ownership rights. Why should they keep suffering despite a legislation to their rescue?”
 
This gives a holistic approach to the issues of farmers and Adivasis which are inherently linked to the questions of land ownership, issues of markets opening up to global competitors with least support from Indian government and a sustainable method of irrigation. Not only this, farmers also suffer when it comes to the Minimum Support Prices. For a long time now, the farmers are demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report without much intervention from the government.
 
Shankar Waghere, who belongs to the Koli Mahadev community, came from Nalegaon village in Dindori taluka of Nashik and joined the rally from there. He walked 28 kilometres by foot to join the rally. Waghere expresses, “The production cost for an acre is 12,000 rupees. If the rains are good, we get 15 quintals of rice [per acre],” he says. “The current [market] rate is 10 rupees a kilo [Rs. 1,000 per quintal]. How will we sustain? When I got to know of the march, I decided I will participate, come what may.” Waghere is talking about rice cultivation here.
 
 
Though the government announced a loan waiver last year following the unprecedented upsurge by farmers, it did not stick to its own words.
 
A Monday unlike any other
 
The long march, apart from farmers of Maharashtra namely Vidarbha, Marathwada, Khandesh , consists of adivasis from many interior regions of the state. They reached Nashik on March 6 and have covered nearly 150 kilometres in five days.
 
They will enter Mumbai this Sunday through Mulund check Naka and take a halt at Ghatkopar. Monday morning will see them marching towards the State Assembly, which is currently in session. Thereafter they plan to ghearo the assembly.


After a long day of walking, some farmers sing and dance at night; others like Waghere are exhausted; soon, everyone rests for the night under the open sky. Credit: Shrirang Swarge/People’s Archive of Rural India
 

 After a long day of walking, some farmers sing and dance at night; others like Waghere are exhausted; soon, everyone rests for the night under the open sky. Credit: Shrirang Swarge/People’s Archive of Rural India


Thousands of farmers started the morcha from CBS Chowk in Nashik on March 6, to highlight their demands,
which the government has repeatedly ignored Source : Pari network


Photo credit: Alka Dhupkar Mumbai Mirror Facebook post




https://www.sabrangindia.in/article/rajasthan-kisan-struggle-intensifies-leaders-remain-arrested-demands-unfulfilled
https://www.sabrangindia.in/article/2018-union-budget-really-pro-farmer-budget
 

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