Skip to main content

Despite SC interim stay, corporate houses, govt 'seeking to implement' farm laws

Counterview Desk

India's premier civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), has begun an extended programme of action in more than 100 districts in support of Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s call for nation-wide resistance, which began on May 26, marking six months of farmers' struggle against "authoritarianism and anti-corporatisation."
Sending across message of peace, non-violence and equality on Buddh Purnima, even as paying homage to more than 480 farmers "martyred" on Delhi borders, NAPM said, "We reiterate our support to the Kisan Andolan, and we condemn the devious design by the ruling party and its associated farmers’ wing Bhartiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) which has resorted to malicious and false propaganda against the movement. 

Text:

May 26 marked six months of historic resistance and valiant struggle by farmers and agricultural workers of the country, demanding the repeal of the three anti-farmer and pro-corporate agricultural laws forced upon them by the NDA government. The struggle has faced numerous instances of police violence, oppression and unlawful arrests.
It has defeated the right-wing misinformation campaign, propaganda and every other attempt to malign it. It has also braved the harsh winter of North India, heat storms, rain and thunder. Despite severe weather conditions, covid related health risks and lockdown, the movement has found deep roots and spread all over the country.
In these six months, it has compelled the government to enter into dialogue multiple times. The farmers' movement also played a crucial role in the ouster of BJP and its allies in multiple assembly and panchayat elections. With the emergence of strong women’s leadership, the movement has also raised and faced complex questions of patriarchy that we must continue to engage with.
National Alliance of People’s Movements and its constituent members, as part of the wider farmers’ struggles and two national fronts (All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee – AIKSCC and Sanyukt Kisan Morcha – SKM) have continued to play an active role from villages to district headquarters, the state capital and Delhi borders. On May 26, AIKSCC-SKM called for national actions on the ground as well as online, keeping in mind the restrictions due to the pandemic. NAPM members, in line with our continued support, have begun organizing programmes in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and elsewhere.
Demanding the repeal of the three national farm laws, MSP (C2 + 50) for all crops and repeal of the Electricity Bill, farmers and workers are raising demands related to pending payments of the sugarcane and wheat to farmers in Uttar Pradesh, no government purchase of the bumper corn crop in Bihar, lack of implementation of the Supreme Court orders directing ration and monetary support to migrant workers, urban poor and working-class people, work under NREGA with Rs 600 per day wage, the release of political prisoners, stopping of the central vista and other unnecessary infrastructure projects, free vaccination for all, better health facilities etc.
In places where mass gatherings are not allowed, NAPM is raising protest flags at homes, holding small programmes, sit-ins for a short duration, releasing social media statements, organizing Facebook and youtube live programmes, zoom meetings and so on.
We reiterate our support to the Kisan Andolan, and we condemn the devious design by the ruling party and its associated farmers’ wing Bhartiya Kisan Sangh which has resorted to malicious and false propaganda against the movement.
We state in no uncertain terms that the BKS has back-stabbed the farmers' movement and it is mass initiatives like the SKM and AIKSCC which are holding the flag of farmers’ rights in true spirit. It needs to be noted that BJP’s IT cell, RSS, pro-establishment media, troll army and their own ministers have resorted to several such attempts in the past and continue to do so even now. Farmers’ movements remain steadfast and united in their demand for repeal of three agricultural laws.
It is important to note that while the Supreme Court has issued an interim stay on the implementation of the three farm laws, the Union government and its favoured corporate houses continue to prepare the ground for the implementation of the laws. We condemn the actions of the government and the corporations that would eventually lead to massive land grab, impoverishment of farmers and dismantling of the PDS.
May 26 also marked seven years of the NDA government at the Centre. These years have seen a series of anti-people policy measures (latest attack being on Lakshadweep), the severe undermining of the constitution and autonomous institutions, mass dissemination of fake information, intimidation of media and judiciary, repression of dissent and activists, and extreme polarization of society.
These measures have pushed millions of people into penury and pushed us many years back as a nation. It’s not only the last two years of the Corona pandemic. Right from demonetization to the dilution of labour, agriculture and environmental laws and to the attack on every welfare measure from PDS and pensions to subsidies on health, education, cooking gas etc, the measures have contributed to price rise, inflation and unemployment.
The first and second wave of Corona have completely exposed to the world the criminal failure and hollowness of every other claim of this government and the Prime Minister, in particular. They have lost every moral authority to be in power. If India is to be saved, the BJP-led Central government must be replaced with a multi-party national unity government, to deal with this extraordinary crisis.
We shall continue to stand with the farming and working classes, as they face the twin attacks of the worst pandemic and the anti-people policies of this fascist regime. We remain steadfast in defending democratic spaces at all costs.

Comments

TRENDING

North Gujarat gram panchayat bars villagers from dealing with Muslim hawkers, traders

By Our Representative  A gram panchayat in North Gujarat has barred its residents not to buy anything from Muslim traders and hawkers. An order of the Waghasan group gram panchayat of Tharad taluka of Banaskantha district dated June 30 states that the decision has been taken in the wake of beheading of a Hindu tailor after he posted a derogatory writeup on Prophet Mohammad in Udaipur. The gram panchayat resolution says, anyone seen buying or selling any commodity from a Muslim hawker or trader would be fined Rs 5,100. Bringing this to light, Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee, in a letter to Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel, says, the state government should take legal action against the panchayat chief who has signed the “unjust” order. The letter says, the act of the sarpanch and other signatories is a violation of rule of law of the state and threat to peace, pointing out, the move is in violation of Article 15 of the Constitution, which says that none

Unlike Soviet Union, Russia is no friend to India: Ukrainian scholar tells 'Indian friends'

Counterview Desk In an open letter to "dear Indian friends", Anastasia Piliavsky, born in Odessa, Ukraine, studied at Boston and Oxford Universities (on a Rhodes Scholarship), and now teaches at King’s College, London, has said that she faces "deep moral dilemma", personally and professionally, over the "astonishingly unified Indian response to the war in Ukraine." Based on her interaction with a "number of thoughtful and caring Indian friends", in this letter, she says, she is "reeling at the ubiquitous silence at, justifications of or outright support for Putin’s terror, which now prevails in India, at the ubiquitous #IStandWithPutin and #istandwithrussia hashtags." She insists, India must understand, "Unlike the Soviet Union, Russia is no friend to India. Soviet leaders, beginning with (the Ukrainian) Nikita Khrushchev – who declared hindi rusi bhai bhai – built up deep political and cultural exchange with India." Text : I

Technocratic globalism, tyranny? Health Ministry warned: bill to 'enslave' Indians

Sandeep Pandey, Tushar Gandhi By Rosamma Thomas*  Union of Concerned Citizens, a group comprising Magsaysay Award winner Prof Sandeep Pandey, human rights activist Tushar Gandhi, former judge of the Bombay High Court BG Kolse Patil, pediatrician Dr Jacob Puliyel and several renowned Indian citizens have written to the Union Health Minister cautioning him against tabling the draft Public Health Bill in the Monsoon Session of Parliament. “The Public Health (Prevention, Control And Management Of Epidemics, Bio-Terrorism And Disasters) Bill, 2017 and a Prospective Bill of 2022 as discussed in news articles, is straightforwardly violative of Fundamental Rights of the citizens of India and therefore, Ultra Vires of the Indian Constitution. It contravenes several International Treaties and Conventions including the Nuremberg Treaty of 1947 which was enacted to ensure that no country would repeat such inhuman medical atrocities on fellow human beings”, the 12-page letter reads. “Strangely, t

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Chennai residents 'suffering': Faulty design, implementation of storm water project

By NS Venkataraman*  The Greater Chennai Corporation is now implementing storm water drainage project in 559 roads, covering a distance of 1033 kilometres, which cost around Rs 4,070 crore. For this massive project, which is targeted to be completed between April and September this year, huge loan has been availed from World Bank, Asian Development Bank and others. Several technocrats have pointed out that the project has been designed with outdated technology and quality of the implementation is so poor that the residents have been put to great hardships. As part of the project, digging of the road has been done to around 5 to 6 feet deep and width of around 4 to 5 feet. The drains are being constructed using steel reinforced cement concrete with two walls on either side with provisions for manhole, chute etc. This has been done in front of several houses leaving little space between the gate of the house and that of the drainage structure. As the work has been going on for mor

'Drop all falsed charges': 150 citizens demand early release of AltNews co-founder

Counterview Desk  About 150 concerned citizens have demanded the release of Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of the fact-checkng newsportal AltNews, arrested over a 2018 tweet which allegedly hurt religious sentiments, even as booking for criminal conspiracy and having received foreign funds in violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). Denied bail last weekend and sent to 14-day judicial custody, the concerned citizens, in a statement, regretted that while the Delhi High Court issued notice to the Delhi police on a petition filed on behalf of Zubair challenging the legality and propriety of his police remand and the seizure of his electronic devices, the “frivolous case” continues. Excerpts: The illegal arrest of Mr. Mohammed Zubair happened on June 27, 2022, by the Delhi Police for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and promoting enmity over a tweet from 2018. The IPC Sections included 153(a) (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race,

Prime Minister's 'affordable' housing policy fails to help Gujarat slum dwellers: Study

By Rajiv Shah  A new study on the implementation of one of the major policy initiatives for the urban poor by the Narendra Modi government after it came to power, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), has said that in Gujarat, which happens to be the Prime Minister’s home state, has quoted state officials as “confirming” that no progress towards tenure regularization, a key requirement for providing housing to the state’s slum dwellers. Stating that this particularly true of smaller town, the study, carried out by the non-profit Homes in the City (HIC), which is based in Bhuj, district headquarter of Kutch that saw a devastating earthquake in 2001, says, the failure to provide affordable housing is there despite the fact that there has been “significant demand” in all the 83 out of 153 Gujarat municipalities studied by experts involved in the study. According to the study, out f a total of 1.41 lakh demands for housing under the Beneficiary Led Construction (BLC) category, 94,232 (66.7%)

Electricity Bill: Centre's reform measures contain 'carrot and stick package' for states

Counterview Desk  The Peoples’ Commission on Public Sector and Public Services (PCPSPS), claiming to be a network of eminent academics, jurists, erstwhile administrators, trade unionists and social activists, seeking consultations with stakeholders with those who are against the government’s decision to monetise, disinvest and privatise public assets/enterprises, has said that the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill-2022 will have far-reaching impacts on the finances of states. Insisting that the proposed Bill would lead to “assault on India’s federal structure”, in a statement, it says, it would weaken the finances of states’ power distribution companies, have adverse impact on utility employees, cripple the states' finances, impose a heavy cost burden on the smaller subsidized consumers (especially farmers), and benefit only corporate business houses. “States cannot afford to ignore the far-reaching implications of the Bill on their economy, finances, agricultural and industria

'Highly abnormal': AltNews journo's arrest suggests 'deterioration in media freedom'

By Bharat Dogra*  Leading media organizations have come out in strong support of recently arrested journalist Mohammed Zubair. These organizations include, among others, the Editors Guild of India, the Press Club of India, the Delhi Union of Journalists and DIGIPUB, a platform for several important digital media organizations. All these organizations have condemned the recent arrest of the noted journalist and demanded his immediate release. While leading human rights organizations and political parties have also made somewhat similar statements, the strong support of media organizations is particularly important as the effort of the authorities has been to try to present the arrested journalist as someone who has been indulging in irresponsible journalism.  In such a situation the support of those media organizations who are familiar with his work and who are most capable of judging the quality of his work is very important. In this context it is important that some media organization

Majoritarian silence helping Hindutva forces 'handover' national resources to corporates

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The majority of Indian citizens are witnessing the persecution and everyday violence against their fellow citizens who are Muslims and religious minorities. The growing assaults on reason, science, secularism, Indian democracy and constitution are going to be landmarks in Indian history of diminishing democracy and citizenship rights. It is clear that Hindutva ideology is directly promoting sectarian politics of hate which is dangerous for the unity and integrity of India, peace and prosperity of Indians. The majoritarian silence helps in empowering Hindutva and their electoral dividends. From witnessing the persecution in the sidelines to the active participation and cheering loud or silence accelerates violence against our neighbours and our fellow citizens. How and why do majority of Indians stay silent and contribute to the persecution of their fellow citizens who are Muslims and religious minorities? The question baffles me as an Indian because I have gr