Skip to main content

Delhi farmers' rally seeks complete loan waiver law from Lok Sabha; leaders agree, farm incomes have nosedived

By Our Representative
A Kisan Mukti Sansad (Farmers' Freedom Parliament), held in New Delhi after completing Kisan Mukti Yatra of more than 10,000 kilometers under the leadership of the All-India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) in 19 states, saw its leaders introducing a draft Farmer’s Freedom From Debt Bill, 2017, seeking it's approval in the winter session of Parliament.
Held on November 20, since morning, thousands of farmers started marching with flags and sloganeering from Ramlila ground, Ambedkar Bhavan, Gurudwara Rakabganj and different railway stations to reach the Sansad venue at Parliament Street, carrying red, green, yellow and blue flags.
The Sansad started with paying tribute to the farmers martyred in Mandsaur and other police firings, to farmers who have committed suicide, and to farmers of Yavatmal, who died due to pesticide poisoning. VM Singh, convener of AIKSCC, welcoming the farmers who arrived for the Sansad, said that farming has become a loss making activity. Ironically, his views echoed the government view that, as farm incomes were declining, more and more people should shift from agriculture to industry.
Singh, however, said, the solution lay in farm loan waiver and doubling farmers' income. "All the previous farm loans must be waived off", he insisted.
Kavita Kurungati, a woman farmer, and convener of the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA), put forward the issues of women farmers in detail and emphasized on the need of passing the bill for loan waiver and ensuring that the price of farm produce is raised at least by 1.5 times of the input cost.
Several women related shocking stories of the families of farmers who have committed suicide. They felt for the first time someone is listening to their grievances and were hopeful that in future other families would not commit suicide but would resist for their demands.
While addressing the Sansad, Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan said that this was a historic moment, as women from all over the country had gathered there to discuss their issues, supporting the bill aimed at bettering the lives of farmers, peasants, farm workers, adivasis, landless, tenant farmers, fishworkers. She added, the government has displaced more than 10 crore farmers from all over the country, including farmers of the Narmada Valley, without complete rehabilitation.
Hannan Mollah, president of the All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), reading out the Farmer’s Freedom From Debt Bill, 2017, said that the government has looted farmers by paying them less continuously, and forced them into debt. This in turn has caused the suicide of more than 5 lakh farmers in the country.
"Farmers will not allow the exploitation now", he said, adding, "Farmers' organizations from all over the country have consistently demanded loan waiver. Here we have a draft bill, which Parliament must discuss and approve. Small loan waivers cannot work for farmers, we need a comprehensive bill to ensure freedom from debt cycle."
Raju Shetty, MP, said, "We will not spare anyone found cheating farmers. We have the capability to overturn the ruling government. It is only because of farmers' faith that Narendra Modi was able to come with clear majority on the promises of raising farmer’s income to minimum 1.5 times of the cost."
Yogendra Yadav, of the Jai Kisan Andolan and Swaraj Abhiyan, said that the Sansad was a milestone in the history of farmers’ movements. "This is the first time when farmers bearing red and green flags have come together. And with yellow and blue flag bearers also joining in, it has become a rainbow."
Atul Kumar Anjan of the AIKS said that corporates are looking towards corporatization of farming looking at the need for seeds, fertilizers, pesticides etc., adding, the narrative propagated by the government and a few economists about less production due to small and medium farm size is totally false, as 54% of wheat production and 57% rice are being produced from these small and medium farms only.
Butta Singh Burjgil of the Bhartiya Kisan Union said that the Congress in Punjab had promised to waive off farmers' loan in its manifesto, "and following our struggle, it waived off crop loan of farmers having land less than 5 acres, but put a cap of aggregated crop loan, including principal amount and interest, of Rs 2 lakh. Even here, the waiver is only for those farmers who have taken loan from cooperatives. This comes to less than 10% of farmers indebted in Punjab."
V Venkat Ramiyaa, a senior organiser of the Sansad, said that the government had promised to double the income of farmers, but in reality it is keeping the support prices lower than the actual cost in the case of nine out of 17 crops, for which the scheme is offered. "This is pushing the farmers into debt trap. Hence the demand for comprehensive loan waiver."
Dr Sunilam, national convener of the National Alliance of People’s Movements, said, "Due to GST and demonetization, already, the farmer’s income are on decline. In the last three years, public sector loans have increased to Rs 10.65 crore from 8.11 lakh crore. This is happening when farmers have raised the production of fruits, vegetables, and crops by 1.5 times to 534 crore tons in the last decade".
During the Sansad, speakers demanded unconditional and immediate release of Akhil Gogoi, leader of Assam's Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, who is imprisoned for the last year under sedition charges and National Security Act. Speakers called it murder of democracy and dissent, deciding to form committees in states to fight for the release of Gogoi.
In all, representatives from 184 farmer’s organizations from 25 states participated in the Sansad.

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Across the board, among Muslims, Hindus, there's enormous fury at Delhi Police: Report

Counterview Desk
A quick report, prepared by Delhi's concerned citizens, "Let Us Heal Our Dilli", based on one-day visit (February 27) to several areas and mohallas of North East Delhi affected by the riots that gripped the country's capital -- Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri, Chaman Park, Shiv Vihar, Main Mustafabad (including Bhagirathi Vihar and Brijpuri) -- has said everywhere there is "zero trust" towards that the police.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.