Monday, February 23, 2015

Gujarat farmers to protest land ordinance by presenting memorandums to mamlatdars

A farmers' protest in Gujarat
By Our Representative
The Khedut Samaj Gujarat, which has lately emerged as a major farmers’ body in the struggle against land acquisition for industrial development, has declared its intention to join the national-level struggle if the Government of India decides to call a joint session of Parliament to convert the ordinance into an Act.  In a statement, the farmers’ organization’s leader Sagar Rabari regretted, “The Gujarat model of governance through government resolutions (GRs) has been adopted at the national level.”
According to Rabari, this is happening by coming up with a new era of ‘governance through ordinances’ at the national level, as found reflected in the ordinance amending the Land Acquisition Act, 2013. To start with, he added, Gujarat farmers would be sending a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through mamlatdars, demanding the “withdrawal of the ordinance in its entirety.”
Pointing towards the “movement” which is afoot at the national level, under the stewardship of Anna Hazera and PV Rajagopal against the ordinance, Rabari said, “Various farmer organisations in Gujarat have been coordinating with them. If and when needed, the farmers of Gujarat will join the national level struggle.”
“If the government goes ahead into enacting the amendments of the ordinance into law, by calling a joint session of parliament, then farmers’ organisations along with other social and civil society groups will initiate a strong movement against the government in coordination with other state-level organisations in other states as well as national level bodies,” he said.
Rabari added, “If needed, they are ready to march to New Delhi in order to express their anger in person. The morale of the farmers of Gujarat has been given a boost through solidarity messages received from organisations from other states.”
He warned, referring large scale detention of farmers’ leaders ahead of a proposed rally against the Vibrant Gujarat business meet, which began on January 11, Rabari said, “If, as always, the state government tries to stifle the voice of protest through activating the police to enforce preventive detentions, then suppression of civil liberties in Gujarat will be highlighted nationally and will be turned into a national issue”
Pointing out that this will be done “in collaboration with other national organisations fighting on the issue”, he said, “We expect the Government of Gujarat to respect and protect the fundamental right of expression. If not, struggle is inevitable.”

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