OURS is a country in which around 50 per cent of the population is dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. Yet, we see that the perils of those who are working in this sector are increasing day by day. To get a real sense of the desperation that our agricultural sector is experiencing, it would suffice to simply look at the number of those who have abandoned agriculture and those who have committed suicide as agriculture became unviable.
THE All India Kisan Sabha has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court on June 28 for adequate protection to the cause of the farmers, agriculturists and cattle traders etc, representing all who are not in a position to approach the Supreme Court for protection of their rights guaranteed under the Constitution. A brief summary of the petition is given below:
FARMERS across the country joined in a united action of solidarity and militant protests against the brutal killing of six people in Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh and against the anti-farmer policies of the BJP government. On June 16, in many places, farmers blocked roads, burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
AMIDST countrywide protests by farmers demanding fixing minimum support prices according to Swaminathan Commission recommendation of cost of cultivation (C2)+50 per cent ie, at least 50 per cent over and above the cost of production, the BJP government has made a mockery of the peasantry by announcing MSP of kharif crops for 2017-18, which is even far below cost of production. AIKS, in a statement issued on June 19, has condemned this insensitive move and approach of the BJP government towards the plight of the peasantry.
AN All India Kisan Sabha team visited Mandsaur on June 14 and met the families of farmers killed in police firing. They met the families of two martyrs Chain Ram Patidar (aged 23 years) at Nayakheda village in Neemuch district and Abhishek Patidar (aged 17 years) at Barkheda Panth in Mandsaur district and conveyed their condolences. The team met farmers and expressed solidarity with their struggle. Farmers explained their situation and said that unprovoked firing was with an intention to kill. Most of the injuries were above the waist, on the chest, head etc.
ALL India Agricultural Workers Union joins the All India Kisan Sabha, All India Democratic Women’s Association, Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch, CPI(M) and CPI in protesting against the government of India’s restrictions on selling of cattle from livestock markets all over the country to abattoirs.
ACTIVISTS of organisations of peasants, students, women and social workers held a demonstration in front of Madhya Pradesh Bhawan at Chankyapuri in New Delhi to protest the cruel murder of eight farmers at Mandsaur in police firing by the BJP led state government.
THE Notification of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 brought by the Narendra Modi-led BJP government is a direct attack on livelihoods of millions of poor peasants engaged in dairy farming, people who are engaged in leather industry and earn their livelihood from sale of meat. It is a well-planned attack on the poor to ensure that the corporate entities engaged in dairy, leather and meat industry have unbridled access to the market and profits.
THE BJP had come to power three years ago promising “Achhe Din” for the farmers and agricultural workers as well as toiling masses. It had promised an end to farmers’ suicides, ensure remunerative prices for crops according to the Swaminathan Commission recommendation of at least 50 percent above cost of production, more investment in agriculture, expanded employment opportunities and higher wages under MGNREGA, irrigation facilities to all farms, effective insurance, pensions, scientific land acquisition legislation to protect interests of the peasantry and much more.