October 04, 2020

Historic Response to Pratirodh Diwas against Anti-Farmer Bills

Total Bandh in Punjab and Haryana, Widespread in Rajasthan and Karnataka

Highways and Rail Lines Blocked, Effigies of Modi Burnt in Many States

Workers and Different Sections Unite in Support of Farmers

RESPONSE to the Pratirodh Diwas (Protest Day) call on September 25, given by All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) against the anti-farmer bills brought by the Narendra Modi led BJP government has been unprecedented. It has been a historic resistance with masses coming out in lakhs across India. Farmers were supported actively by the central trade unions, organisations of workers, students, women, youth, dalits and adivasis across the country. Despite corona pandemic, restrictions, repression and rain in many states, the participation in the protest action was overwhelming.

The bandh called in Haryana and Punjab was total and widespread in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. Many leaders were arrested in these states. Many districts of Rajasthan also witnessed massive protests and bandh like situation.  In Bengal, the national highway was blocked at 92 places and state highways were blocked at 89 places. Over two lakh farmers and toiling masses participated in the state alone. In Kerala, dharna and protests were held in front of 250 central government offices and many places across the state. S Ramachandran Pillai, vice President, AIKS inaugurated the protest in Trivandrum. In Tripura, massive protests braving police repression and attacks have been reported. In most states, the national and state highways were blocked and even trains were stopped. Maharashtra witnessed massive protests across the state. At Dahanu, the Mumbai Delhi Highway was blocked by thousands of farmers at Dahanu and Palghar. AIKS president Ashok Dhawale participated in the protest. Tamil Nadu saw united protest in hundreds of centres across the state and police action against the protesting farmers. In Bihar and Jharkhand, farmers and workers came out on the streets in big numbers, roads were blocked across all districts and rail roko was also done. Odisha, Assam, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh witnessed, Manipur spontaneous response from farmers and workers. Effigies of Narendra Modi and the bills were burnt in numerous places. The widespread nature of protests and massive response has exposed the concerted campaign of Narendra Modi, the BJP government and corporate media that the protests were restricted only to few pockets in Punjab and Haryana only.

Karnataka observed a bandh again on September 28, against anti-farmer, anti-worker bills.

In Delhi, the solidarity action was addressed by Hannan Mollah, general secretary, AIKS, Tapan Sen, general secretary, CITU, Purushottam Sharma, Mariam Dhawale, general secretary, AIDWA, Binoy Vishwam, MP, Rajya Sabha, Mayukh Biswas, general secretary, SFI and Vijoo Krishnan, joint secretary, AIKS. Leaders of the Left Parties and representatives of different civil society groups, student organisations etc were present. K K Ragesh, CPI(M) MP, Rajya Sabha who was suspended for speaking up against the bills in parliament and Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, CPI(M) MP, Rajya Sabha were also present in solidarity with the farmers. The lies of the corporate media apart, on the social media the first four top trends on twitter today were all against the anti-farmer bills.

The massive response to the Pratirodh Diwas is a clear warning to the arrogant Narendra Modi led BJP government and the message is loud and clear. Peasants and workers will build the broadest possible unity to resist with all its might the efforts of the BJP to facilitate corporate loot and profiteering at the expense of farmers. AIKS congratulates all sections that came out in such huge numbers in solidarity with the peasantry.