Chandigarh, June 28, 2021 (Yes Punjab News)
On June 26th 2021 (yesterday), to mark the ‘Save Agriculture, Save Democracy Day’ call given by Samyukt Kisan Morcha, tens of thousands of farmers across India stepped up their protests all over the country peacefully.
The call by SKM was a huge success given the response from farmers from all over India, both in capital cities and in tehsils and district headquarters. Nearly all capital cities of major states of the country witnessed farmers’ resistance yesterday, in addition to hundreds of other locations where local protests were organised and memoranda submitted to local authorities, addressed to the President of India.
SKM appreciates the solidarity lent to the farmers’ protests by trade and workers’ unions, by women’s organisations, youth and students’ organisations, by dalit and adivasi groups, by traders and transporters, by teachers and artists and other sections of society.
It is richly ironic that BJP leaders and state governments run by the party, who were one day earlier criticising the Emergency rule imposed by Mrs Indira Gandhi in 1975, were reflecting the same authoritarian and repressive attitude towards the protesting farmers and their agitation.
In Chandigarh, it is reported that FIRs have been filed against several SKM leaders and many other protestors under IPC sections 147, 148, 149, 186, 188, 332 and 353. It is objectionable that the entry points have been closed by the administration to begin with, after farmers had declared their intent to peacefully march till the Raj Bhavan, after which a chosen small delegation would have gone to meet the Governor to hand over a memorandum.
There was absolutely no reason to have tried to prevent the farmers from going to the Governor House. After having barricaded the roads, the police also resorted to using water cannons and lathi charge on the protestors.
On top of this kind of undemocratic and authoritarian behaviour, cases are now being filed against SKM leaders. Samyukt Kisan Morcha condemns this and demands that the FIRs be withdrawn immediately and unconditionally.
In many places, farmers were not allowed to even take out rallies to Raj Bhavans. There were detentions and lock-ins of SKM leaders. SKM condemns this and points out that this itself is an illustration of the failure of democracy and the undeclared emergency that we are going though.
There should not have been any concern related to law and order with regard to yesterday’s program because in the end, only a delegation was being requested to be taken to the Governor. However, this was not allowed in most places.
The farmers’ movement is only getting stronger, despite all these undemocratic efforts by governments. More farmers are reaching the protest sites each day. There are numerous extra-ordinary protestors who are ensuring that the struggle is historical, and will also reach its logical conclusion of victory for farmers.
Farmer Satpal Singh from Mansa district in Punjab was felicitated today at Tikri Border by Jamhoori Kisan Sabha. He had been part of the protest for a full seven months, staying at Pillar Number 770 at Tikri throughout this time.
Tomorrow, there will be a “Kisan Mazdoor Bhaichara Maha Sammelan” at Sunehra Border, under the guidance of Maulana Arshad ji. Farmers from Mewat, an area of Rajasthan and Haryana, are expected to join in large numbers along with others.
This is being done in the context of constant attempts by the BJP-RSS forces bringing up communal tensions in order to break up the movement. To strengthen the values of peace, communal harmony, brotherhood and justice, the meeting is specially being organised by Samyukt Kisan Morcha and many SKM leaders are expected to participate in the same.
This Maha Sammelan is a warning to communal forces intent on disrupting the unity of the movement that farmers are aware of these tactics and will remain united.
Cases have been filed against 15 farmers in Hisar, who had taken part in a protest against a BJP meeting on the 25th of June. SKM condemns the same and demands that the cases be withdrawn unconditionally immediately.
Well known American scholar, linguist, philosopher and peace activist Prof Noam Chomsky has lauded the ongoing farmers’ struggle in India “as a beacon of hope in dark times”.
He applauds the fact that the farmers are fighting not just for themselves but for a functioning society that cares about the rights and welfare of all citizens. He cites evidence of the “robbery” that the richest have grabbed from ordinary citizens, and points to that evidence to argue that the Indian farmers are right in fighting against corporate control of their lives.
He points out that these corporations are ‘tyrannical structures’. “The protesting farmers should be extremely proud of what they are doing – they are doing the right thing, with courage, with integrity…. for the whole world, this is a model of struggle (for other farmers) to carry out the same kind of actions”, he said appreciatively.