THE AIKS and CITU have congratulated the people of the country, especially the workers and the farmers, for their overwhelming response to the August 9 Jail Bharo movement. It was expected that over 20 lakh people will participate, but the reports received at the centre as we go to the press show that the number may increase the targeted figure. In Delhi, there was a solidarity rally by the CITU which later courted arrest at the Parliament street police station.
Nearly 10 crore signatures collected from the peasantry, working class and public have been submitted to the PM through the respective district collectors /magistrates.
The main thrust of the struggle is to reverse the wrong policies being pursued by the BJP led central government that intensifies the already acute agrarian crisis. The BJP government has given up all its opposition to FDI and has allowed FDI in all sectors including the multi-brand retail marketing and agriculture. Along with this, the declaration of contract farming to aid private profiteering will tighten the iron grip of corporate companies on Indian agriculture.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) being pursued by the Modi Government is a mega regional trade deal that will open up land in India for takeover by foreign MNC’s who will have to be treated on par with the Indian companies. Seed and input costs are expected to rise in the wake of mega mergers like Bayer taking over Monsanto and ChinaChem taking over Syngenta.
Dairy sector employing over 100 million people who supplement their meager income from crop based agriculture will be badly affected as big players in Australia and New Zealand will dump milk products in India. AIKS has given a separate call to observe August 23 as demands day of dairy farmers across the country against dumping of milk products.
The main slogans of the Jail Bharo strike included freedom from indebtedness, legal guarantee of MSP for all crops at C2+50 percent with comprehensive procurement support, stop FDI in agriculture and marketing and no contract farming to aid agro corporate companies, redistributive land reform, halt forcible land acquisition, Rs 5000 monthly pension to all small, marginal peasants and agriculture workers, crop insurance scheme covering all crops, irrigation and electricity to all fields, minimum wage to agricultural labourers, full implementation of MNREGA by linking with agriculture.
The August 9 struggle was also supported by different organisations of peasants, agriculture workers, dalits and ex servicemen etc.