The Farmers’ Movement : A Chronology of the Historic Struggle 


  • November 20, 2022
  • (1 Comments)
  • 315 Views

The farmers’ movement, which lasted for more than a year (June 2020 – December 2021), has been one of the largest in the history of independent India. It marked a spectacular success in its resistance to neoliberal reforms and corporatisation of Indian agriculture. The three farm laws, which triggered the farmers’ rebellion, were meant to liberalise India’s agriculture markets at the behest of WTO and open it to big national and international corporations. Farmers alleged that these reforms would leave them at the mercy of big agro-corporations. Farmers and farmers’ unions perceived these laws as an attack on their livelihoods and identity. Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh, marched from their villages on tractors and trolleys, and camped on highways at the borders leading to Delhi. Amidst a raging Covid-19 pandemic, farmers sustained their struggle demanding repeal of the three laws along with legal guarantee of MSP for all crops, and forced the union government to back down. On 19 November 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, announced the repeal of the three farm laws.

 

On completion of one year of that announcement, which marked the first significant victory of a peoples’ movement against this corporate backed authoritarian government in Delhi, we bring to our readers a comprehensive timeline of the historic farmers’ rebellion. The timeline has been taken from the book – The Journey of the Farmers’ Rebellion – a compilation of interviews on the farmers’ movement in India (2020-2021) – published jointly by Workers Unity, GroundXero and Notes on the Academy.

 

380 Days that Shook the Delhi Empire: A Chronology of the Struggle 

 

On 15 May 2020, as India was emerging from the first wave of the Covid pandemic and seeing an end of the lockdown, the Union Finance Minister announced the government’s intention to enact three farm laws to accelerate ‘reforms’ in the agricultural sector. The three ordinances came into effect as they were approved by the Union Cabinet on 3 June and promulgated by the President of India on 5 June.

 

We attempt to present a chronology of the events that followed as farmers went on one of the longest and sustained protests ever in this country. We also attempt to cover the significant points in their negotiations and talks with the government, the police repression on protesters and more significantly, the responses and strategies of the farmers’ movement. This is merely an overview of the trials and tribulations of their long journey of rebellion within which lie countless other stories and happenings.

 

Phase I

From rooftop protests to tractor rallies to Delhi Chalo

 

June 6, 2020

Farmers started protesting from their rooftops and common areas in their villages. Effigies of the NDA ministers were burned in hundreds of villages in Punjab.

 

June 14, 2020

The rooftop protests spread over 500 villages of Punjab, were held daily from 9 am to 10 am.

A press statement released by the BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) objected to the ordinances stating that these would “kill farming”. The statement expressed their fear of agriculture in India landing in corporate hands.

 

July 20-21, 2020

Effigies of members of the then SAD-BJP alliance were burnt in several villages by the 11 main farmer unions of the state, including BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan), BKU (Dakaunda), Kirti Kisan Union, etc. The next day, these 11 farmer unions joined hands to protest against the ordinances in a coordinated manner.

Prime Minister Modi made a statement in favour of the ordinances. As a result, the two-day effigy burning program was extended till 26 July.

 

July 27, 2020

The 11 farmer unions organised a joint tractor march. Farmers travelled on tractors from their villages to submit memorandums to their MPs. In Bathinda, the march was led by 17-year-old Baldeep Kaur, who drove the tractor herself to submit a memorandum to the then Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, inspiring the youth into joining the farmers’ protests.

 

July 29, 2020

The 11 farmer unions met again and decided to send another memorandum to PM Narendra Modi and Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh.

 

August 19, 2020

All the 31 farmer unions of Punjab, along with the agricultural worker unions, decided to work in coordination against the three farm laws. The 31 unions also decided to work in coordination with the AIKSCC.

 

August 25, 2020

BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) organised nakabandi (blockade) in villages till August 29. Their posters gave the call to deny the SAD and BJP leaders entry into the villages.

 

September 7-10, 2020

A Jail Bharo movement was organised by all 31 farmer unions and they sent another memorandum to the PM.

 

September 9, 2020

Protests were held against FIRs lodged against farmers for violation of section 144 CrPC, Covid-guidelines etc.

 

September 11, 2020

The police lathi-charged on farmers in Haryana when they were trying to reach a rally at Pipli (Kurukshetra, Haryana) became a significant turning point. The next day, farmer unions in Punjab protested against the lathi-charge.

 

September 12, 2020

The bridge of Harike Pattan and Beas were blocked by the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) in Tarn Taran and Amritsar areas from September 12 onwards.

 

September 14, 2020

The ordinances were tabled in the parliament. The 31 farmer unions organised Lalkar rallies on the same day at Phagwara, Patiala, Barnala, Amritsar and Moga. They asked Akali Dal to make its stand clear as the party was in alliance with BJP at the centre.

 

September 15, 2020

BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) started pakka morcha or permanent sit-ins outside the houses of former CM Parkash Singh Badal and in Patiala at CM Amarinder Singh’s hometown. On the next day, the government announced that all FIRs against protesting farmers would be withdrawn.

 

September 17, 2020

The ordinances were passed in Lok Sabha. MP and SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned as Union Food Processing Minister on the same day, citing the farm bills as the main reason.

 

September 20, 2020

The ordinances were passed in Rajya Sabha by voice vote.

 

September 23, 2020

All 31 farmer unions in Punjab announced that they would start rail roko from October 1, along with dharnas outside malls, corporate-owned petrol pumps and residences of BJP leaders.

 

September 24, 2020

The rail roko protest started on 24 September by Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) and BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) at 12 locations.

 

September 25, 2020

The Punjab Bandh called by Punjab-based farmer unions met an unprecedented success: People from all sections of the society participated spontaneously in the Bandh.

 

September 27, 2020

The President gave assent to the farm bills, and they were notified in the Gazette of India as Farm Laws.

The pressure built up by the farmers and youth compelled Shiromani Akali Dal to announce a break in its 27-year-old alliance with BJP.

 

October 1, 2020

Protests intensified. In response to an indefinite rail roko call, all the railway tracks in Punjab were blocked from October 1; all toll plazas were occupied; products and services of Adani and Ambani were boycotted; dharnas were organised outside petrol pumps and shopping malls owned by them; demonstrations were held everyday outside the residences of BJP leaders.

 

October 8, 2020

Leaders of farmer unions were invited to Delhi to learn about the benefits of the farm laws. They rejected the invitation.

 

October 14, 2020

Leaders of farmer unions went to Delhi to talk but boycotted the meeting as no Union Minister was present.

 

October 19, 2020

The Punjab government called a special session of the state assembly and passed a resolution opposing the farm laws. Barring the two BJP MLAs, the MLAs of all political parties joined a procession to submit a resolution opposing the farm laws to the state Governor.

 

November 5, 2020

A nationwide chakka jam (road blockade) took place.

 

November 7, 2020

A meeting of farmer unions was held in Gurudwara Rakab Ganj in Delhi. An umbrella body named Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) composed of different farmer organisations opposing the farm laws from across the country, was formed. Rakesh Tikait from BKU (UP) and BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) remained outside the SKM.

 

November 14, 2020

A meeting took place between farmer unions and the Union Agriculture Minister and Union Minister for Railways. In Punjab all goods and passenger trains had remained suspended though the farmer unions were willing to lift blockades on the goods trains. The Union Minister for Railways threatened to stop all supplies to and from Punjab. The meeting failed.

 

November 14-24, 2020

Preparations for Delhi Chalo began in full swing. Farmers started to decorate their tractors; equip their trolleys with all necessities and converted them into mobile homes.

 

November 25-26, 2020

Thousands of farmers marched towards Delhi, facing water cannons and tear gas as the police tried to disperse them at Haryana’s Ambala border. The farmers, overcoming police repression and barricades, reached Singhu border. The police asked farmers to move to Burari ground in North-West Delhi. But farmers rejected the offer, demanding to hold the protest at Jantar Mantar; they sat on the roads, occupying the two major national highways at Singhu and Tikri.

 

Phase II

 

The 380 days of protest on Delhi borders began

 

Tractors and trolleys were parked for several kilometres on both the Singhu and Tikri borders. Thousands of farmers from western Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh closed down two more national highways as they camped at the Ghazipur and Palwal borders. The response of the Union government made it clear that the struggle would be a protracted one.

 

November 28, 2020

Union Home Minister Amit Shah offered to hold talks with farmer unions as soon as the farmers vacate the borders and move to the designated protest site at Burari ground. However, farmers rejected his offer.

PM Narendra Modi in his Mann Ki Baat programme defended the farm laws as being beneficial to the farmers.

 

December 3, 2020

Countrywide demonstrations by farmers. Landless farmers and agricultural workers from various villages of Punjab joined the farmers’ protest at the borders.

The government held first round of talks with representatives of the farmer unions, but the meeting remained inconclusive.

 

December 4, 2020

SKM announced Bharat Bandh to be held on December 8.

 

December 5, 2020

Left parties issued a statement supporting the Bharat Bandh. Farmers burned effigies of Modi, Shah, Adani and Ambani in several parts of the country. The second round of talks with the Union government also remained inconclusive.

Uchana Khap boycotted BJP and JJP leaders in Haryana.

 

December 8, 2020

Bharat Bandh called in support of the farmers’ struggle got massive response in Punjab; SKM issued a call to boycott Adani and Ambani products and services.

 

December 9, 2020

Farmer union leaders rejected the government’s proposal to amend the three laws and vowed to intensify the agitation for the repeal of the three laws.

 

December 10, 2020

World Human Rights Day was observed at Tikri border by the BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan). Farmers and activists demanded the release of public intellectuals and political activists held under UAPA in the Bhima Koregaon case.

 

13 December, 2020

Farmers from Rajasthan and Haryana blocked the fifth remaining national highway at Shahjahanpur.

Army veterans from Punjab and Haryana collected over 5,000 gallantry medals to return them to the government in protest against the farm laws.

 

December 14, 2020

Farmer union leaders observed a one-day fast and two minutes of silence at all the borders to mourn the death of more than 20 farmers in the protest.

 

December 16, 2020

A large number of women from Punjab participated in the protest at Singhu border, holding photographs of male members of their families who had committed suicide due to indebtedness or agrarian distress.

 

December 20, 2020

The movement reached its 25th day. Shradhanjali Divas (Homage Day) was announced for the 33 farmers who had died so far during the movement due to accidents, illnesses, hostile weather etc.

 

December 26, 2020

One month of the farmers’ protest was celebrated by demonstrations in front of malls, petrol pumps and retail outlets owned by the Adani and Ambani groups.

 

December 30, 2020

In the sixth round of talks between government and farmer leaders, the government agreed to exempt farmers from stubble burning penalty and drop changes in the Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020.

The death toll of farmers at protest sites crossed 50.

 

December 31, 2020

Kerala State assembly unanimously adopted a resolution against the three farm laws.

 

January 2, 2021

SKM issued an ultimatum to the government that it would march into the city of Delhi on 26 January if farmers’ demands were not met. The event would be named the Farmers’ Republic Day parade and would be held as soon as the official Republic Day celebration was over.

 

January 12, 2021

The Supreme Court stayed the implementation of the three farm laws for one and a half years. It set up a four-member committee of experts to make recommendations on the legislations after talking to all stakeholders. All the four experts had publicly supported the farm laws and advocated neoliberal reforms in agriculture. SKM reiterated its position of not participating in any such committee process.

Labour activist Nodeep Kaur was arrested at Kundli near Singhu border by Sonipat police on various criminal charges Her arrest and the arrest of Shiv Kumar on 16 January was clearly because of their efforts to organise workers in support of the farmers’ struggle.

 

January 18, 2021

Mahila Kisan Divas was celebrated at the borders.Hundreds of women drove in tractors and marched to the borders of Delhi.

 

January 22, 2021

The Union government arbitrarily broke off all talks with SKM after 11 rounds of talks failed. For the next ten months no more talks were held. Farmer unions stood firm on their demand to repeal the laws.

 

January 23, 2021

Subhash Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary observed as Kisan Chetna Divas. Protests were held across many states in support of the farmers’ movement. SKM gave a call for mahapadavs (sit-ins) and rallies before Governor houses from January 23 to January 26.

 

January 26, 2021

Lakhs of farmers marched on tractors decorated with the national flag and the flags of the kisan unions on the outskirts of Delhi. The Kisan Tractor Parade was organised in all the states. Several protesters from the Singhu and Ghazipur borders changed the designated route, and drove towards Delhi’s ITO and Red Fort, where police resorted to tear gas shelling and lathi-charge. At Red Fort, a section of the protesters climbed poles and hoisted the Nishan Sahib flag. Navreet Singh, a young farmer from UP, died in clashes with the police. SKM issued a statement on the same day condemning the turn of events and asked farmers to return to their camps.

 

Following the incidents on 26 January, state repression was unleashed on farmers. The Delhi police filed hundreds of FIRs against farmers and farmer union leaders. Almost 121 farmers were arrested. Tractors were confiscated. The next day, the police attacked the protest camps. It evicted farmers from the Palwal borders and attempted to clear the Ghazipur border. At Singhu and Tikri, RSS-BJP cadres disguised as ‘local villagers’ stoned farmers, abusing them as anti-nationals and Khalistanis.

Protest sites were cordoned off by multiple layers of barbed steel wires, iron spikes, razor wire, wide trenches, concrete boulders and huge goods containers. Water, electricity and internet connections were cut off. Mobile toilets were broken. Armed commandos along with Rapid Action Force were stationed at all protest sites.

 

January 28, 2021

BKU leader Rakesh Tikait’s emotional appeal resulted in thousands of sugarcane farmers from western UP marching to Ghazipur border to join the protest.

Sitabai Tadvi, an adivasi woman farmer of Lok Sangharsh Morcha from Maharashtra, passed away. The death toll reached 171.

The West Bengal assembly passed a resolution against the three farm laws.

 

January 29, 2021

A massive Mahapanchayat, attended by thousands of Muslim peasants, was held at Muzaffarnagar. Ghulam Mohammad Jaula, the Muslim peasant leader, reminded the gathering of the assaults on Muslims in 2013. BKU President Naresh Tikait apologised for letting the Muslims down in 2013.

 

January 30, 2021

Mahatma Gandhi’s martyrdom was observed by SKM to reiterate its commitment to truth and non-violence and highlight the role of RSS in his assassination.

 

February 4, 2021

The government slammed “celebrities and others” for comments in support of farmer protests, calling them “neither accurate nor responsible”. This came after pop icon Rihanna, climate activist Greta Thunberg and Meena Harris, niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris, spoke out in support of the farmer protests.

 

February 6, 2021

SKM called a three-hour nationwide chakka jam in response to the government’s various repressive measures, including internet ban at protest sites, following the events on 26 January.

 

February 8, 2021

PM Narendra Modi, while replying to the debate on the President’s Address in parliament, called farmers andolanjeevis (professional protesters) and parjeevis (parasites). SKM condemned the Prime Minister’s speech in parliament.

 

February 14, 2021

SKM gave a call for nationwide torch rallies.

The Delhi Police arrested 21-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi for allegedly “editing” the toolkit shared by Greta Thunberg in support of the farmers’ struggle. SKM condemned the arrest.

 

February 18, 2021

On SKM’s call for a nationwide rail roko protest, trains were stopped, cancelled and rerouted at many places.

 

February 21, 2021

Kisan Mazdoor Ekta Maha Rally, attended by over one lakh participants, was organised by BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) and Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union in the grain market of Barnala to expose government’s propaganda to label the movement with Khalistani tag and build solidarity between land-owning farmers and agricultural workers.

 

February 26, 2021

The farmers’ struggle completed three months. The day was observed as Yuva Kisan Divas to felicitate the role of peasant youths in the struggle.

 

February 27, 2021

The martyrdom anniversary of Chandrashekar Azad and birth anniversary of Sant Ravidas were observed as Worker-Peasant Unity Day.

 

March 5, 2021

The Punjab Vidhan Sabha passed a resolution asking for the unconditional withdrawal of the farm laws in the interest of farmers, and to continue with the existing system of government procurement of food grains at MSP.

 

March 6, 2021

Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway blocked by farmers.

The farmers’ movement completed 100 days.

Rajbir Kaur, a 48-year-old farmer committed suicide at Tikri border. His was the eighth protest suicide at the Delhi borders. The overall death toll of farmers reached 248.

 

March 8, 2021

Thousands of women from Punjab and Haryana observed International Women’s Day at all protest sites.

A petition signed by over one lakh citizens in Britain compelled the British parliament to debate the situation in India regarding the enactment of the three farm laws.

 

10 March 2021

Farmer leaders participated in the No Vote to BJP campaign in West Bengal and gave an open call to defeat BJP in the assembly elections.

 

March 15, 2021

SKM supported the call of the Central Trade Unions to observe Anti-Privatisation Day.

On the call of the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union, thousands of agricultural workers held a meeting in a local grain market in Bathinda in support of the farmers’ movement.

 

March 23, 2021

The Martyrdom Anniversary of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev was observed at protest sites. Youths from Punjab and other states reached the Tikri and Singhu border in large numbers.

 

March 26, 2021

SKM called for a second Bharat Bandh in support of the farmers’ struggle and received massive nationwide response. The day also marked the completion of four months of struggle.

 

March 28, 2021

To mark the Holi festival, thousands of farmers at the borders as well as across the country made bonfires to symbolically burn the three farm laws.

 

April 1, 2021

Thousands of farmers, including a large number of women, blocked the Hisar airport and the corresponding highway for more than two hours, to prevent the Deputy CM of Haryana from coming out of the airport. This was done as part of a call by SKM to boycott the leaders of the BJP-JJP alliance.

 

April 5, 2021

Farmers gheraoed FCI godowns and offices in various states, as part of the FCI Bachao Divas to oppose attempts to dismantle both procurement at MSP and the PDS.

 

April 10-11, 2021

Thousands of farmers blocked the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway for 24 hours, to protest police lathi-charge on protesting farmers in Rohtak, Haryana.

On April 11, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Jyotirao Phule was observed at protest sites.

 

April 13, 2021

On the day of Baisakhi, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre was mourned at the Delhi borders.

 

April 14, 2021

Ambedkar Jayanti was celebrated as Save Constitution Day and Kisan Bahujan Ekta Divas at protest sites.

 

April 30, 2021

Farmers celebrated the 400th birth anniversary of Sri Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Guru of Sikhs.

A young woman activist from West Bengal succumbed to Covid in a hospital at Tikri border. Investigations revealed that she was sexually assaulted by members of the Kisan Social Army, whom she had met in Kolkata and travelled to the border with them. SKM denounced the organisation, removed its tent from the protest site and helped the family file an FIR.

 

In the months of April and May, the deadly second wave of the Covid pandemic struck. The Union government used it as a ruse to evict farmers from Delhi borders. Media reports blamed farmers for spreading the virus, and highlighted Operation Clean – to drive away the farmers – after the assembly elections in five states were over.

SKM made arrangements to protect the protest sites from the virus, set up medical and vaccination camps. The farmers also arranged free food and shelter for migrant workers, distributed thousands of food packets to starving people at railway stations, bus terminals and patients at hospitals.

SKM gave the Phir Delhi Chalo call as unions and organisations urged members, who had gone to their villages for the wheat harvesting season, to return to the borders from April 24, the 150th day of the farmers’ struggle.

 

May 1, 2021

Kisan Mazdoor Ekta Divas was celebrated at all protest sites.

 

May 10, 2021

BJP’s defeat in the assembly election in three states out of five, including West Bengal, was celebrated at the protest sites.

 

May 16, 2021

Police used lathis and tear gas on farmers in Hisar (Haryana) who were on their way to protest against the CM who was inaugurating a hospital. Over 50 farmers and 20 police personnel were injured.

 

May 26, 2021

Farmers observed Black Day to mark six months of the agitation and seven years of Modi’s rule by burning effigies of the members of the Modi government.

Buddha Purnima was celebrated at protest sites.

 

June 5, 2021

Protesting farmers observed Sampoorna Kranti Divas (Total Revolution Day) to mark the first year of the promulgation of the farm ordinances. Farmers across the country burned copies of the three farm laws.

 

June 7, 2021

Farmers in Haryana gheraoed police stations in protest against lathi-charge and arrest of three farmers. The arrested farmers were released and the Haryana CM was forced to apologise.

 

June 14, 2021

Guru Arjan Dev’s martyrdom day was observed. It also marked the 200th day of the farmer’s struggle.

 

June 26, 2021

The day marked 46 years of imposition of Emergency. SKM observed it as Save Agriculture Save Democracy Day; the day also marked seven months of the struggle. Farmers in Punjab and Haryana marched to the Governor House. They broke police barricades in Chandigarh and faced lathi-charge and water cannons.

Farmers also celebrated Sant Kabir’s birth anniversary.

 

July 8, 2021

Protests were held against hikes in fuel prices, with petrol and diesel prices touching Rs 100 per litre in many states.

Death toll of farmers during the struggle reached 537.

 

July 22- 9 August

Kisan Sansad or Farmers’ Parliament was held at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, parallel to the monsoon session of the parliament. It was called by SKM as part of the farmers’ movement to highlight the lack of attention and concern the Union government had shown towards the plight of more than 14.5 crore farmers in the country. It started on July 22 and continued till August 9.

On July 26 and August 9, exclusive women farmers’ sessions were held. The Kisan Sansad concluded by adopting a No Confidence Motion against the Modi government.

 

July 31, 2021

Shaheed Udham Singh’s martyrdom day was observed and marked as Anti-Imperialist Day by farmer unions.

 

August 2-5, 2021

A delegation of farmers from Krishak Mukti Sangharsh Samiti of Assam and a delegation from Odisha participated in the Kisan Sansad. Farmers from the Andhra Pradesh Farmers Associations Coordination Committee and All India Kisan Sabha from Tamil Nadu joined as well.

 

August 3, 2021

Adani Logistics Services shut its inland container depot or dry port at Qila Raipur in Ludhiana, as its operations were suspended since January due to the farmers’ dharna at the entrance of the facility.

 

August 7, 2021

Leaders of 14 opposition parties met at Parliament House and visited the Kisan Sansad at Jantar Mantar.

 

August 9-11, 2021

In Patiala, seven agricultural and rural worker unions, which had formed a Sanjha Mazdoor Morcha (United Workers Front) held a three-day demonstration to raise their eight-point demands, including waiving off Electricity Bill, granting residential plots and loans, and repealing labour codes and farm laws.

 

August 14, 2021

Massive dharna of landless agricultural workers, both women and men, was organised in Patiala by Zameen Prapti Sangharsh Committee (ZPSC), demanding waiver of all types of loans of agricultural labourers, including loans from microfinance companies.

 

August 15, 2021

Farmers celebrated the 75th Independence Day on India as the Kisan Mazdoor Mukti Sangharsh Divas.

 

August 17 2021

Social boycotts and protests against BJP leaders extended to Uttarakhand, after Punjab, Haryana and western UP.

Sugarcane farmers in Punjab protested on NH-1 demanding hike in prices and payment of pending arrears of Rs 200 crore. Farmers occupied railway tracks near the protest site (Amritsar-Kolkata line) until demands were met.

 

August 26-27, 2021

Nine months passed since the protest began on the borders. SKM’s two-day All India Convention started at the Singhu border on this day. Over 1,500 representatives from 22 states representing more than 300 farmer and agricultural worker unions along with 18 all India trade unions, 9 women’s organisations and 17 students and youth organisations joined. The convention concluded on August 27 after unanimously giving a clarion call to expand and intensify the agitation to every village and corner of the country. A call was given for a one-day Bharat Bandh on September 27.

 

August 28, 2021

Haryana Police brutally cracked down on farmers in Karnal, leaving several injured in a lathi-charge at the Bastara toll plaza. The farmers were protesting against a BJP meeting being attended by CM Manohar Lal Khattar and other state leaders of the BJP. One of the injured farmers, Sushil Kajal, later died in hospital.

 

August 29, 2021

The Tamil Nadu assembly passed a resolution supporting repeal of the three farm laws.

 

September 5, 2021

A massive Kisan Mazdoor Mahapanchayat of over 10 lakh people cutting across caste, religion, state and language was held at Muzaffarnagar in UP. Mission Uttar Pradesh – SKM’s campaign to defeat BJP in UP – was launched.

 

September 7 – 9, 2021

Over two lakh farmers gathered in Karnal grain market despite implementation of Section 144 and suspension of the internet and laid siege to the mini-Secretariat. The farmers demanded Rs 25 lakh compensation to the family of the deceased farmer (Kajal) and a government job for his relative, compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for those injured in the lathi-charge and registration of a criminal case and stern action against the SDM and police personnel responsible for the lathi-charge.

 

September 11, 2021

The Haryana government agreed to conduct a probe by a retired judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court into the August 28 police lathi-charge on farmers and sent the former Karnal SDM Ayush Sinha on leave until the inquiry was completed.

 

September 13-28, 2021

In MP, 26 farmer unions organised a motorcycle rally and torch procession. A Kisan convention was held in Bihar. A Kisan Mahapanchayat was organised in UP’s Sitapur. Mahapanchayats were held in UP’s Gorakhpur and Uttarakhand’s Haridwar. A Kisan Mahapanchayat was organised by Chhattisgarh Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh in Rajim. Farmer unions campaigned to garner support for the Bharat Bandh on 27 September.

 

September 25, 2021

Two farmers were killed in police firing in Assam. Hemanta Biswa Sharma, the BJP CM of the state, hailed the police firing.

 

September 27, 2021

The third Bharat Bandh in the farmers’ struggle received huge support. There was complete shutdown in Punjab and Haryana, and good response in many other states. Thousands of farmers, workers, students, youth and civil society groups came forward in support of the Bandh.

 

September 28, 2021

Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s birth anniversary was observed at protest sites as well as across the country.

 

October 2, 2021

Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi was observed by SKM, as it paid homage to the role of satyagraha and Gandhi’s principles of satya and ahimsa (truth and non-violence) in the farmers’ struggle.

SKM organised a padayatra (Lokniti Satyagraha Padayatra) from Champaran in Bihar to Varanasi in UP.

 

October 3, 2021

A convoy of Ajay Mishra, the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, reportedly comprising his son Ashish Mishra, uncle and other goons, ran over protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri of Uttar Pradesh. Four farmers – Gurvinder Singh (19), Lovepreet Singh (20), Daljit Singh (35), and Nachattar Singh (60) – were killed. A local journalist, Raman Kashyap, also died. SKM condemned the murderous attack on farmers. It demanded MoS Ajay Mishra to be dismissed immediately and murder cases to be imposed on both the father and son. Ashish was finally arrested on October 9.

Haryana CM while addressing a meeting of the BJP’s Kisan Morcha in Chandigarh, encouraged BJP cadres to pick up sticks and attack farmers. SKM demanded that he apologise immediately and resign from his post.

 

October 5, 2021

A video of the Lakhimpur Kheri massacre emerged showing the vehicles of the minister mowing down farmers. SKM demanded a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court. 

 

October 11, 2021

Maharashtra Bandh was called by the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi and supported by all anti-BJP forces.

SKM paid its deep respects to Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan on his 119th birth anniversary.

 

October 12, 2021

Shaheed Kisan Divas was observed – antim ardaas (last rites) of the martyrs of Lakhimpur Kheri was held in Tikunia village. Farmer organisations and other progressive groups across the country marked the Shaheed Kisan Divas by organising prayer and homage meetings; in the evening, candlelight vigils were held as per SKM’s call.

 

October 15, 2021

On Dussehra, effigy-burning of top BJP leaders like Modi, Amit Shah, Yogi, and others took place at hundreds of locations across the country.

A Dalit Sikh man was found brutally murdered, allegedly for desecration of Sarbaloh Granth (a Sikh holy book), at the Singhu border protest site by members of a Nihang sect.

 

October 18, 2021

A countrywide rail roko program was held to demand the dismissal of Ajay Mishra from the Union Cabinet and his arrest for his role in the Lakhimpur Kheri massacre.

The leader of the accused Nihang sect, Baba Aman Singh, was identified to be suspiciously close to BJP. His photos with Agriculture Minister and a dismissed cop and murder convict Gurmeet Singh Pinky went viral.

 

October 26, 2021

The farmers’ movement completed 11 months. Death toll rose above 600.

In several states, Shaheed Kalash Yatras were taken out to pay homage to the martyrs of the Lakhimpur Kheri massacre.

 

October 28, 2021

SKM condemned the cancellation of OCI cards and long-term visas of NRIs supporting the farmers’ movement.

Three women protesters were crushed to death by a speeding truck near Pakora Chowk at Tikri border while they were waiting for an auto-rickshaw. They were returning to their village Kheeva Dyaluwala in Mansa.

 

November 4, 2021

The farmers’ movement observed Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas. Homage was paid to over 650 martyrs by lighting lamps in their memory at protest sites.

 

November 7, 2021

A study conducted by Punjabi University at Patiala revealed that the majority of those who died during the protest due to harsh weather, accident, suicide and other reasons were marginal and small farmers.

SKM called Mahapanchayats in all state capitals, starting on 22 November in Lucknow, to mark one year of the farmers’ movement against the three farm laws.

 

November 15, 2021

SKM opposed the WTO’s proposal to impose limitations on public stock holding of good grains to 15 percent of the production in a country in the upcoming WTO meeting (MC12) in Geneva from 30 November to 3 December 2021. SKM rejected another proposal that food grains procured for public stock holding cannot be exported.

Birth anniversary of Adivasi freedom fighter Birsa Munda was observed by SKM.

 

November 16, 2021

Martyrdom anniversaries of Ghadar Party revolutionary Kartar Singh Saraba and Vishnu Ganesh Pingle and Dalit woman fighter of 1857 war Veerangana Uda Devi Pasi were observed by SKM.

 

November 19, 2021

PM Modi announced repeal of the farm laws. Spontaneous celebrations at borders and all over the country.

 

November 21, 2021

SKM in its first meeting after the PM’s announcement of the repeal of farm laws decided to send a letter to the PM, listing the six major pending demands, namely, legal guarantee of MSP for all crops, withdrawal of draft Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020/2021, removal of the penal provisions on farmers for stubble burning, withdrawal of all cases against the farmers over the course of the movement, dismissal and arrest of Minister Ajay Mishra, compensation to the families of the martyrs of the farmers’ movement and allocation of land to build a memorial in their memory at Singhu border. SKM asked the government to immediately resume talks on the six demands of the farmers.

 

November 22, 2021

A massive Kisan Mazdoor Mahapanchayat was held at Lucknow. Family members of the martyrs of Lakhimpur Kheri Massacre also attended the Mahapanchayat and were felicitated.

 

November 24, 2021

It was reported that at least 80 fake social media accounts were being operated in a networked manner in names of Sikhs for maligning the movement; these accounts were suspended across social media.

 

November 26, 2021

The farmers’ movement completed one year of its historic struggle. Tens of thousands of farmers assembled at protest sites on Delhi borders – Singhu, Tikri, Ghazipur and Shahjahanpur. Protest programs were held nationwide in support of the farmers’ movement.

 

November 28, 2021

A massive Kisan Mazdoor Mahapanchayat took place at Azad Maidan, Mumbai, organised by the Samyukta Shetkari Kamgar Morcha (SSKM) – a platform of over 100 organisations of peasants, workers, students, youth and women – in solidarity with the farmers. This Mahapanchayat marked the culmination of the SKM-led Shaheed Kalash Yatra that began on 27 October from Mahatma Jyotirao Phule and Savitri Bai Phule’s house in Pune. The ashes of the martyrs of Lakhimpur Kheri massacre were immersed in the Arabian Sea.

 

November 29, 2021

Both the Houses of parliament cleared the Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 via voice votes, within four minutes, without any discussion.

 

December 2, 2021

The President gave assent to the Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021.

 

December 4, 2021

SKM held a meeting to discuss the absence of formal response from the government regarding its pending demands. It reiterated its resolve to continue the agitation until a formal and satisfactory response came from the government.

 

December 6, 2021

SKM celebrated Mahaparinirvana Divas of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and took oath in ceremonies across the country to protect the Constitution of India.

 

December 7, 2021

For the first time in the year-long struggle, the government sent a written proposal to the SKM. SKM after discussion, sent concrete amendments to the government’s proposal.

 

December 8, 2021

The government sent a revised draft proposal to the farmer unions. SKM after discussion approved the proposal and sent it back to the government for finalisation.

 

December 9, 2021 

Farmer leaders met after receiving the official letter signed by the Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. SKM called off the farmers’ movement and formally announced lifting of the morchas at the borders. It announced that on 11 December, Vijay Divas (Victory Day) would be celebrated at all borders, toll plazas and protest sites across the country.

 

December 11, 2021

After 380 days and nights of an unrelenting struggle, the victorious farmers started returning home from all the borders; the victory of the farmers was celebrated all over the country

 

(Sources of data : SKM website of press releases, When Farmers Stood UP by Ashok Dhawale, India Today, The Hindu, Interviews of Peasant leaders in this volume.)

 

 

To order a copy of the book contact at

groundxero2018@gmail.com (whatsapp : 9830411525)

workersunity18@gmail.com (whatsapp : 7503227253)

 

Share this
Recent Comments
1
  • comments
    By: K Balakrishnan on November 20, 2022

    This article totally hid the fact that the struggle was held effectively in Tamilnadu and other states.
    SKM Tamilnadu Convener

Leave a Comment