For us, farmers are anyone who works with the soil including dairy farmers. They are the ones on whom our economy and national interest shall be focused. This is why our campaigns and movements started or them as for those who were standing last in the queue.
We covered almost every state on their issues and sought response from various governments. We with AIKSCC had sought a special Parliamentary session to address and pass the two Kisan Mukti Bills we prepared on remunerative price and loan waivers. Those bills propose (a)1.5 times of cost and MSP be made a legal requirement, (b) the government buy all harvested crops, (c) a new debt relief commission to hold off debt recovery for up to three years in distressed areas, and reschedule and waive certain loans.
History was written on Parliament Street in New Delhi on 21st November 2017 when a large congregation of farmers across at least 20 states of India joined a Kisan Mukti Sansad, or a Farmers’ Liberation Parliament. Two demands have unified them all 150 organizations, in the hope that the immediate acute crisis of farmers, forcing many to resort to suicides, will be resolved to an extent, when these demands are met. First, freedom from debt and second guaranteed remunerative prices for all agri-produce for all farmers.
In Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh 6 farmers were shot dead in police firing when protests erupted due to non-remunerative prices during the procurement of crops. This yatra was undertaken in Madhya Pradesh demanding justice for the martyrs families and remunerative prices. After a 13-day rally that began in Mandsaur, agitating farmers gathered at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, demanding that the government take immediate steps to address their concerns.
Highlighting various demands and rights of farmers, including drought relief, members of the Jai Kisan Andolan, a movement for farmers rights launched by Swaraj Abhiyan, Ekta Parishad, the National Alliance of People’s Movement, ASHA and other farmers organizations launched a yatra of seven drought-hit districts in Tamil Nadu on Thursday. The march is intended to make farmers aware of their constitutional rights in drought situations. At meeting held at villages, Swaraj Abhiyan leaders briefed farmers on the provisions of various laws and measures meant for protecting them such as the National Food Security Act, the MNREGA, crop input subsidy and loan rescheduling. The yatra is also to assert farmers’ right to avail relief under the National Food Security Act so that no one is deprived of food in times of calamity.
Every year when Indian Parliament comes up with Union Budget, Swaraj India with Farmer Organizations forwards its expectations to the government before its announced. Organizing Kisan Sansad every year is our flagship programme where we set up or own parliament with experts and farmers analyzing the presented budget and then an ‘alternate budget’ is presented for Rural India.
After the Samvedna Yatra and the historic petition filed by Swaraj Abhiyan in the Supreme Court of India led by Prashant Bhushan, this yatra was undertaken to fight for those rights. The main objectives of the march was to address the growing rural-urban disconnect; farmer-youth disconnect and simultaneously create awareness amongst people by organizing meetings with village panchayats and farmers and telling them about their rights. Following the historical judgment of the SC, the yatra was creating awareness about the verdict and about the farmers’ rights. Drought is not just about shortage of water, but it ultimately leads to food crisis. Today, there is a great divide between Bharat and India and this is why this yatra has a bigger relevance today. Rajendra Singh of Jal Biradari – known as “Waterman of India”, who joined the march also interacted with the villagers while explaining the methods of promoting water conservation, water management, and traditional rainwater harvesting.
14 days, 4500+ km, 7 states, 35 districts, hundreds of meetings through “drought-affected” regions of seven states from October 2. The two-week-long yatra, that begins from North Karnataka made its way through 25 districts of Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana. It seeks to understand and highlight the alternative models of dealing with the drought, the group said describing the yatra as an attempt to draw public attention towards a looming “national disaster”. Yogendra Yadav had then written a letter to CMs of various states suggesting solutions to tackle drought.
We had declared that their 10-day long Tractor March campaign would not allow the Modi government to pass the “black law” related to land acquisition. The campaign would force the Modi government to withdraw the new land acquisition bill as it would give the government a legal right to acquire the lands of farmers without their consent and without adequate compensation.
We also led the protest against the Race Course Club as that land belonged to the farmers. Yogendra Yadav with hundreds of volunteers were arrested during the protest at Jantar Mantar. After all this the ‘Black Law’ was revoked by the government.