New Delhi. Several representatives of many farmers organizations, civil society organizations, NGOs, and citizens are appalled at the violent treatment of farmers by the Indian government. 50,000 Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) farmers who were peacefully marching from Haridwar to Delhi as part of the Kisan Kranti Yatra were met with tear gas, water cannons, police batons. The Rapid Action Force was deployed. Many were gravely injured and there were no ambulances or medical supplies available. Others were cordoned off and had no access to food or water. Ironically, it also happens to be Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th anniversary, a man who taught the world the value of non-violent protest and insistence upon truth through satyagraha. It is also our late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s anniversary, who coined the slogan “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” in honour of our farmers and soldiers.
The farmers started their march on the 23rd September in Haridwar, Uttarkhand and were on their 7th day of walking and were hoping to enter New Delhi with their letter of demands. They merely wanted to bring attention to the abysmal state of farmers in India. They were blocked at the Delhi –UP border in Delhi by the police and RAF.
Their demands are not new and are being echoed by every other farmer union of our country. They were asking for fair and remunerative prices, guaranteed incomes, freedom from debt, pension for rural people, payment of arrears, end to unnecessary imports, among other demands. In fact, the Modi government had manipulated farmers via lofty election promises related to the same demands before coming to power and now is greeting them with tear gas.
Even after so many years of independence, Modi government has shown that it is no different from the pre-independence British government in India. We will never let the government forget this and so many other acts of aggression towards India’s annadatas. We will come together and form a national force to defeat all governments that attack our farmers.
Amalendu Upadhyaya, Journalist (hastakshep.com)
Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM)
Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) Karnataka
Thamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam (TVS) Tamil Nadu
Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA)
South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (SICCFM)
Kerala Coconut Farmers Association, Kerala
Uzhavar Ulaippalar Katchi, Tamil Nadu
Katch Sarpartra Thamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam, Tamil Nadu
Adivasigal Gothra Maha Sabha
Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)
Food Sovereignty Alliance, India
Prof.Ravivarma Kumar, Senior Advocate
Prakash Raj, Artist
Suma Josson, Film Maker
Leo Saldanha & Mallesh, Environment Support Group
The Oakland Institute, CA, USA
Anil Chaudhary, PEACE, New Delhi.
Jaya Mehta, Joshi-Adhikari Institute of Social Studies, Delhi
Vineet Tiwari, Progressive Writers’ Association
Ovais Sultan Khan
Dr. A.K. Arun
Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi
Zeeshan Akhtar (India.com, Lucknow)
Anand Swaroop Verma (Samkalin Teesari Duniya)
Debadityo Sinha (Vindhya Bachao Abhiyan)
indu prakash singh (President, Forum Against Corruption & Threats and Facilitator, CityMakers Mission International)
Indra Raghuvanshi, Advocate, Secretary,Forum Against Corruption & Threats (FACT)
Human Rights Defenders Alert – India