Eastern Times, New Delhi : A historic Kisan Mazdoor Mahapanchayat of lakhs farmers from all over the country was held by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) in Muzaffarnagar on Sunday. It will prove to be a turning point in the Indian political landscape.
Farmers in massive numbers started coming yesterday evening itself. The huge GIC ground started overflowing with lakhs of enthusiastic and determined farmers from today early this morning. All arterial roads leading to the rally ground were filled with thousands of kisans. There was an unending flow of people, tractors, cars, buses still coming into Muzaffarnagar. The entire city of Muzaffarnagar had turned into a rally ground.
A sea of people cutting across States, religions, castes, regions and languages came together united to send a loud and clear message to the BJP governments at the Centre and State. The Kisan Mazdoor Mahapanchayat got unprecedented support from all sections of society. Lakhs of farmers had to wait and listen to the speeches from outside the ground, where a public address system had been set up for several kilometers.
Lakhs of farmers had come from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and several other states from all over the country. They included West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and other states. Women and youth farmers had come in massive numbers. It was perhaps the largest farmers’ rally in India so far. The farmers were carrying thousands of national flags, and also flags of their farmers’ organizations. It was a very colorful spectacle.
Resounding slogans of Kisan-Mazdoor Unity and calling for the defeat of the anti-farmer BJP government were raised numerous times during the rally. Hundreds of langars, medical camps and mobile clinics had been set up to help the farmers who had come from all over.
The Muzaffarnagar Kisan Mazdoor Mahapanchayat inaugurated the SKM’s Mission Uttar Pradesh-Uttarakhand, which will strengthen the farmers’ struggle in both states for the repeal of the 3 Farm Laws and for a central law to ensure MSP at C2 + 50%, and will leave no stone unturned to ensure the resounding defeat of the BJP in the coming state assembly elections. The Kisan-Mazdoor agenda will triumph over the communal and casteist politics of the BJP-RSS, all speakers said. The Kisan Mazdoor Mahapanchayat declared that the farmers will never allow communal riots to happen in the future. Kisan Andolan will always give slogan to strengthen Hindu-Muslim unity.
SKM said that the government of Uttar Pradesh is ruling on the policy of ‘divide and rule’ and communal policy of caste and religion of the British government. SKM said that this Mahapanchayat is to send a warning to the Union and the State government. Despite the rally of lakhs of farmers with the support of all caste, religion and class, if the government does not repeal all three agricultural laws and does not give legal guarantee for the purchase of agricultural products, then the movement will be intensified. The leaders of the SKM said that a plan for the struggle on the issue of unemployment would soon be made.
SKM said that the promises made by the Yogi government to the farmers have not been fulfilled. Even 20% of the promised procurement has not been done. The UP government had promised loan waiver for 86 lakh farmers, while only 45 lakh farmers have received the loan waiver.
Union Government agency CACP has found that in the year 2017, the cost of sugarcane was Rs. 383 per quintal, but farmers were paid Rs. 325 per quintal, and sugarcane mills owe farmers Rs. 8,700 crore. In Uttar Pradesh, crop insurance was paid to 72 lakh farmers in the year 2016-17, while in 2019-20, only 47 lakh farmers were paid, where crop insurance companies earned a profit of Rs 2,508 crore. The Kisan Mazdoor Mahapanchayat decided to announce an agitation in the upcoming meeting of the SKM demanding a rate of Rs. 450 per quintal for sugarcane as promised by the Uttar Pradesh government.
The Kisan Mazdoor Mahapanchayat also gave a clarion call to make the Bharat Bandh on Monday, 27th September a massive success all over the country. The earlier date of the Bharat Bandh has been changed due to unavoidable circumstances.
The public meeting was addressed by all the main SKM leaders, and by leaders from all the states present. They also included several women and youth speakers. The prominent among them were Rakesh Tikait, Naresh Tikait, Dharmendra Malik, Rajesh Singh Chauhan, Rajveer Singh Jadaun, Amrita Kundu, Balbir Singh Rajewal, Jagjit Singh Dallewal, Dr Darshan Pal, Joginder Singh Ugrahan, Shivkumar Sharma ’Kakkaji’, Hannan Mollah, Yogendra Yadav, Yudhveer Singh, Gurnam Singh Charuni, Medha Patkar, Baldev Singh Nihalgarh, Ruldu Singh Mansa, Kulwant Singh Sandhu, Manjit Singh Dhaner, Harmeet Singh Kadian, Manjit Rai, Suresh Koth, Ranjeet Raju, Tejinder Singh Virk, Satyavan, Sunilam, Ashish Mittal, Dr. Satnam Singh Ajnala, Sonia Maan, Jasbir Kaur, Jagmati Sangwan, and several Khap leaders.
In a statement, SKM congratulated and thanked the lakhs of farmers who braved all the obstructions placed by the BJP’s Yogi government, and called upon them to take the torch of the farmers’ movement to every corner of India until victory is achieved.