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Police arrest Gujarat, Maharashtra farmers, their leaders, seeking to proceed to Modi's birthplace Vadnagar to protest

By Our Representative
The Gujarat police have prevented Aasood Yatra, a non-political farmers’ protest rally, led by maverick independent Maharashtra MLA Bacchu Kadu of Amravati, at the inter-state border immediately after it reached Navapur village, to proceed further into Gujarat.
The rally, which began in Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ hometown Nagpur on April 11, proposed to reach Vadnagar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthplace in Gujarat, on April 21. In Vadnagar, around 1,000 farmers were to donate blood in order to send a message to Modi that they were willing to give their blood if he spared their lives.
The Nagpur to Vadnagar rally consisted of hundreds of whip wielding farmers of Vidarbha. According to Khedut Samaj – Gujarat (KSG) general secretary Sagar Rabari, “About 1,000 Maharashtra farmers, along with 400 Gujarat’s farmers who were about to join the rally, were detained on the border.”
Bacchu Kadu
“Along with farmers and independent MLA Kadu, KSG president Jayesh Patel, who was in South Gujarat town of Bardoli with his supporters to welcome the yatra, was also detained at Songardh”, said Rabari, adding, “Patel had organized lunch for the Maharashtra farmers as also a joint meeting. They have all been taken to the Ucchal police station.”The rally was allowed to pass through Sukhpur, the last village in Maharashtra along the border with Gujarat. In all some 50 groups, including Shetkari Sanghatana, took part of the rally, whose claimed objective was to draw the present government's “attention towards plight of farmers forced to live in abject poverty because of wrong agriculture policies.”
The rally was called Aasood, which in Marathi means whip. It idea taken from top Maharashtra social reformer Jyotiba Phule’s novel 'Shetkaricha Aasood', which is based on the theme that the farmer should use the whip not only on the bullocks he mends but also on the oppressors.
"Motivated by that thought, I mobilized farmers to rise for their rights of a respectable life," Kadu has been quoted as saying.
Even as starting off for the rally, Kadu said, "We will crack the whip against the government to remind Modi that he has failed to fulfill electoral promise of implementing MS Swaminathan Commission's recommendation on fixing crop prices to input costs and 50% of profit.”
He wondered, “We want curbs on exports of cotton, tur to go so that farmers can benefit. When there are no such restrictions on Baba Ramdev's products, why impose them on poor farmers?”
Passing through Wardha, the rally traversed through Yavatmal and Nanded. It covered Latur, Osmanabad, Solapur and later via Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur, Pune, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Nashik, Dhule and Nandurbar, before it reached the border with Gujarat in order to proceed towards Vadnagar, via Ahmedabad.
Ahead of the rally, Kadu rejected any support from the Congress or the Nationalist Congress Party, saying, their Kisan Sangharsh Yatra was “nothing but a stunt”.
"These parties were in power when Swaminathan submitted his report in 2006. But they did not implement it. Now out of power they are shedding crocodile tears for farmers," Kadu reportedly said.
"The government without batting an eyelid gives 7th pay commission to its staff. But even after 3.5 lakh farmers committed suicide, they do not want to find permanent solution to agriculture crisis or invest adequately for the cause," he added.

Comments

The farmers of India have been turned into easy prey of multinational companies by the proponents of Green Revolution. Traditional Indian agriculture that sustained through ages and was strong enough to withstand vagaries of nature was destroyed by making the farmers run after productivity driven by chemical agriculture that degraded our soil and pushed down the farmers' income with rising cost of inputs.Today farmers are committing suicide where agriculture is most productive.

Down with the agriculture policy of Government of India that sub-serves the interest of multinationals. Stop harassing the protesting farmers. We need revival of traditional / natural / organic farming. - Pradip Chatterjee.
Dipak Dholakia said…
What I liked the most in this action is the Maharashtra farmer leader Bacchu Kadu's firm no to Congress and NCP to get involved in the rally. All parties are the same. It is good to see that farmers are gathering that sort of courage. The solution of Farmers' problems is in the Farmers hands.
Despite the industrail progress, India's is basically an agrarian economy. You cannot neglect agriculture in India.

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