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Farmers' crops 'destroyed' for Prime Minister Modi's March 10 Azamgarh public rally

By Rajeev Yadav, Virendra Yadav* 
The Socialist Kisan Sabha and the Poorvanchal Kisan Union have strongly objected to the destruction of crops of farmers in Azamgarh for organising a public rally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Farmers' associations said that the Prime Minister is coming to inaugurate the same airport in Azamgarh about which BJP MP Dinesh Lal Nirhua had said that there will be no flights taking off from there as no company is willing to go there.
For few minutes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's public address, crops of farmers have been destroyed and razed to the ground. Several videos on social media are a testimony to the fact how mustard and wheat crops that would have been ready for harvest in a 7-10 days time, were destroyed. 
Farmers are very disturbed due to this as they had laboured hard to toil the land and irrigate their fields in biting winter cold -- and bought urea for their fields instead of paying for children's fees and medicines of their elderly parents - but now the crop before it could be harvested, is destroyed within minutes. 
Just like Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated other airports digitally or virtually, inauguration of Azamgarh airport could also have been done digitally. Anti-farmer Nirhua has criticised the farmers who are peacefully resisting against the land grabbing in the garb of international airport. 
It appears that by organising the public rally in the name of airport, they are trying to give a message that they 'can do anything'. The manner in which farmers' crops have been destroyed reeks of total authoritarianism. This public rally could also have been organised in any of the open plain areas (with no crop) in Azamgarh. 
Farmers say that the monetary amount which DM-SDM and police administration is promising to pay the farmers (Rs 900 for wheat and Rs 1100 for mustard per biswa) is a fraction of which they would have earned by harvesting the crop after ten days. Not only children and families of farmers will go hungry but also their livestock will not get its feed. 
But the administration did not pay any heed to farmers' woes rather tried intimidating them that if they do not stop protesting, they will not get anything. The reality of the government which beats its own drum to claim 'development' in the name of this airport is that, as per news, merely 2 flights to Lucknow may take off from this airport. 
It is evident that there are not enough passengers willing to take a flight from Azamgarh airport. Why will anyone spend thousands of rupees to go by air when the same distance can be travelled within a few hours. 
The inauguration of this airport merely represents how adamant BJP government is to benefit the corporates. By inaugurating this airport, BJP government is trying to do damage control of its anti-farmer image as farmers have been strongly resisting against the land grabbing done in the garb of international airport.
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*Respectively: National General Secretary, Socialist Kisan Sabha; General Secretaary, Poorvanchal Kisan Union

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