The huge success of the Kisan Tractor Parade on Republic Day and the mass action character of the gatherings across India is a warning to the BJP led Union Government that enforcing anti-farmer, anti-worker, anti-people policies will be met with widest and strongest resistance of the people.
Groundxero | 26 Jan 2024
Delhi, 26th January, 2024: The call for Kisan Tractor Parade on Republic Day given by Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella organisation of more than 500 farmers’ outfits, to end corporate loot, save agriculture and save India was observed at unprecedented scale and fervour with massive participation across India. The Parade was held in 484 districts of 27 states and Union Territories. Tens of thousands of tractors and other vehicles joined millions of farmers in the Parade.
Apart from farmers unions and organisations, the Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions, independent Federations/ Associations and the mass and class organisations of various sections of the people supported and participated in the Parade, thus further strengthening the farmer-worker unity at the ground level. Students, youth, women and other sections of the people also joined, expressing solidarity.
On the 74th anniversary of the Republic Day, participants in the Parade took pledge to intensify the struggle against the pro-corporate anti-farmer policies of the Modi Government and strengthen the secular and democratic character of the Republic of India, at any cost. The farmers in millions pledged to resist corporate attempt to control and sell costly inputs including electricity and machinery; to change the cropping pattern to suit their markets; to wind up farm subsidies and assured pricing and procurement of crops; to control food storage and thereby control food supply for profiteering, to take over food processing and food markets; to undermine PDS security for the poor; and to take over and commercialise farm land, forest and water resources. The participants pledged to make villagers aware of the onslaught of communal agenda which is ruining the secular fabric of our society; which threatens the democratic rights of religious minorities to exist as equals as enshrined in our Constitution; and to rally the farmers, workers and all people against assertion of caste dominated Manuvadi principles which condemn women, depressed castes and tribes into subservience and subjugation, deny them the right to equal, intellectual and dignified life and livelihood with secure and safe employment.
The Parade on Republic Day was part of the second phase of the farmers’ struggle in order to press the Union Government to implement its written assurance dated 9th December 2021 and other essential demands of farmers including legalizing MSP@C2+50% with guaranteed procurement for all crops, comprehensive loan waiver for farmer and farm workers, stopping of privatisation of electricity sector and installation of pre-paid meters, reducing cost of inputs, ensuring government controlled simple and universal crop insurance, dismissal and prosecution of the main conspirator of Lakhimpur Kheri massacre of farmers, Union Minster of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishar Teni and other demands.
SKM has already given a call for Grameen Bharat Bandh (Rural India Strike) on 16th February 2024 on which day trade Central Trade unions have also given a call for Industrial/Sectoral Strike and SKM expects that rural India will come to a stand-still on that day.
It may be kept in mind that corporatisation of agriculture leading to the agrarian crisis has devastated the lives of farmers, workers and the youth as well. One lakh four hundred and seventy four farmers have committed suicide during the Narendra Modi years (2014-2022) as per the report of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). SKM reiterated that Narendra Modi is the most anti-farmer Prime Minister India has ever had. Narendra Modi has promised freedom from indebtedness and doubling of income to the farmers during the 2014 Lok Sabha election. But the reality is that thousands of distressed farmers in the country are committing suicide every year. Though 14.64 lakh crore of debt of corporates was written off in the last nine years, not a single rupee of farmer’s debt has been waived. The withdrawal of subsidies for inputs and the uncontrolled price rise has escalated the cost of production in agriculture and day-to-day expenditure of the farmer households.
The huge success of the Parade and the mass action character of the gatherings across India is a warning to the BJP led Union Government that enforcing anti-farmer, anti-worker, anti-people policies will be met with widest and strongest resistance of the people.