September 27, 2020

All India Protest Day against Anti-Farmer Bills, Sept 25

The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) has given a call for observing September 25 as All India Protest Day against the three farm sector Bills. The Bills – the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill – were passed by parliament in utter disregard for established parliamentary procedures, federal principles, and rights of states and farmers. These bills will completely stop government procurement of crops, bringing to a grinding halt the price security for peasants as private mandis shall be set up and price and trade regulation of all cereals, pulses, oilseeds, onion and potato shall be removed from coverage under essential commodities.

Condemning the BJP-led government for the anti-farmer bills, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) has supported the call of AIKSCC for All India Protest Day and resistance actions including road and rail roko. Three States – Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh – have decided to go for a bandh on the same day. The AIKS has called upon all democratic sections, class, mass organisations and individuals to join in solidarity, keeping physical distance and adhering to Covid-19 protocols.

“It is due to the intense struggles built by AIKS, AIKSCC and different farmers’ organisations with ample support from organisations of the working class that union minister of food processing industries from the Shiromani Akali Dal, one of the oldest allies of the BJP, quit the union cabinet. She has stated that her resignation is in protest against the anti-farmer ordinances. The BJP government led by Narendra Modi has thought it necessary to ride roughshod over all opposition, including from the NDA constituent, to hastily pass these bills to please the corporates and big agribusinesses,” AIKS said in a joint statement.

The bills are aimed at facilitating profiteering by big players like Adani Wilmar, Reliance, Walmart, Birla, ITC, etc. Even in the scenario of the disastrous manner of implementation of the Covid-19 lockdown and acute distress it has caused to farmers and all toiling masses, the BJP government and Narendra Modi are interested in facilitating corporate loot.

The AIKSCC will also observe the 114th birth anniversary of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh on September 28 to highlight the pro-corporate and anti-farmer acts of the central government – the farm sector bills, the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020 and the steep hike in diesel and petrol prices.

World over, in all countries, price security for farmers’ produce is always provided for by government, not by companies, which only buy cheap to sell dear and earn huge profits. Crop once produced has to be sold, otherwise it will perish and lose value. The BJP claims that foodgrain production has increased in India. More foodgrains require more government procurement, without which companies will bring down prices even faster. This BJP government is batting strongly for the corporate profit by opening up the entire food chain to them.

Farmers’ indebtedness has grown during the BJP rule and is rising faster as input prices are being raised by the government. Indian peasants and landless are committing suicides in huge numbers, almost two every hour, but despite slogan of ‘aatmanirbhar bharat’, the government is selling their interest to big companies, the AIKSCC said and appealed to all patriotic forces to oppose these bills.