Countrywide Actions Planned to Mark One Year of Historic Farmers’ Struggle
THE historic farmers’ struggle in India will complete one full year on November 26, 2021. It surely marks a world record in people’s struggles in recent times. It also marks another world record in the sheer callousness and insensitivity of the BJP-RSS-led central government.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) met at the Singhu border on November 9. Before this, on November 1, there was a welcome joint meeting in Delhi of SKM leaders with leaders of the Central Trade Unions (CTUs) to plan coordinated action on November 26.
November 26, 2021 also marks one year of the massive all India strike of the working class that took place last year. November 26 is also marked in history as Constitution Day, when the Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly in 1949.
The SKM meeting on November 9 decided to observe one year of the historic farmers' struggle in India on and after November 26th massively all over the country, at the borders and in Delhi. It took three major decisions.
First, on November 26 there will be huge mobilisations from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan at all the Delhi borders. All farm unions in the SKM will mobilise farmers in strength for this occasion. Huge public meetings will be held there that day. Homage will be paid to more than 650 martyrs in this struggle so far.
Second, SKM has called for massive mahapanchayats in state capitals on November 26 as part of the first anniversary of this struggle on Delhi borders. They will be held with wide participation of farmers, workers, employees, agricultural labourers, women, youth and students in all state capitals of India, except the states mentioned above which will mobilise at the Delhi borders.
Third, on November 29 the winter session of parliament will begin in Delhi. The SKM decided that on and from November 29 until the end of this parliament session, 500 selected farmer volunteers will march every day to parliament in tractor trollies peacefully and with full discipline, to assert their rights to protest in the national capital in order to increase the pressure on this obstinate, insensitive, anti-people and pro-corporate BJP central government, to force it to concede the demands for which farmers have launched a historic struggle for one year.
On November 1, constituents of the platform of Central Trade Unions held a meeting in Delhi. The meeting considered the situation arising out of the government's push to privatise and hand over all the national assets to the corporate sector, NMP being the latest design. The meeting also discussed the total anti-people attitude of the government which is refusing to consider any demands of the people raised by the trade unions and kisan organisations, undermining all democratic practices.
A national convention of trade unions is planned at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on November 11, for which SKM leaders have been invited. After this there will be state level conventions, jathas, demonstrations, mahapadavs, mini parliaments, extensive signature campaigns etc all over the country. This will be followed by a two-day countrywide general strike during the budget session in 2022. The meeting also decided to observe November 26, the anniversary of the national general strike of trade unions and the kisan march towards Delhi as a nationwide protest day. The convention will also give a clarion call for huge mobilisation of the working class along with the peasantry and other sections on November 26.
This unprecedented struggle, which began a year ago on November 26, 2020 with a magnificent manifestation of worker-peasant unity, will be carried forward in the same united spirit exactly one year later. Crores of workers and peasants will join together in united actions all over the country against a shameless pro-corporate, anti-people, authoritarian, communal and fascistic government.
BJP SUFFERS SETBACKS IN BY-ELECTIONS
The Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha bypoll results that were declared on November 2 resulted in a setback to the BJP, especially in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan, the very states where the farmers’ struggle has been continuing for a year. This holds a clue to what is in store for the BJP, if it does not align government policies with citizens' interests, said SKM.
In the parliamentary by-elections to three seats, BJP got only one seat out of three. In the assembly by-elections to 30 assembly seats in 14 states, wherever the farmers' movement has put in its energies to urge voters to punish BJP for its anti-farmer policies, in states like Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan, the results went against BJP.
The SKM has decided to strengthen and intensify its campaign in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab to defeat the BJP in the state assembly elections to be held there in a few months.
LAKHIMPUR KHERI: SC AGAIN RAPS UP GOVT
A forensic investigation into the Lakhimpur Kheri massacre has revealed that the gun owned by Ashish Mishra Teni and his associate had been fired at the incident. This vindicates the stand of the SKM that the farmers were shot at, and clearly implicates the son of minister of state, Ajay Mishra Teni. This is yet another damning indictment of BJP leaders and their goons.
Last week, the Supreme Court in its hearing on the Lakhimpur Kheri Massacre, had pointed to the UP government’s attempts to “protect one person” in the case. The Supreme Court in its hearing severely rapped the Uttar Pradesh government yet again for its patently-biased and shoddy investigation so far. The bench has observed that it appears that one accused is sought to be benefitted, has expressed disbelief at the statements made by the government lawyer that the accused did not have cell phones and hence the same could not be seized and has found the record of investigation produced before the Court to be sketchy and inadequate.
The CJI-led bench observed that the investigation team is mixing up the investigation into two different FIRs and the witness statements in FIR 220 (against farmers) is being used to protect one accused in FIR 219. The judges said investigations were not kept separate, and two overlapping FIRs in the case were aimed at protecting the accused (Ashish Mishra). The Court was not satisfied by the fact that the phones of all accused were not seized so far and that the forensic lab report has not come in too despite 10 days being given since the last hearing. Meanwhile, an advocate representing a BJP worker's family pointed to custodial death of Shyam Sunder; however, the Court rightly pointed out how CBI cannot be relied upon.
The Court posted the next hearing for November 12 and said that it is inclined to appoint a former judge of a different High Court to monitor day-to-day investigation and that the bench does not want a judge from the UP state government's end. Once again, by its observations and actions, the Supreme Court clearly expressed its own apprehension about biased investigation by both the state government and union government, and clearly hinted at justice getting compromised.
The BJP is trying its best to play dirty communal politics in Lakhimpur Kheri between Hindus and Sikhs. SKM has also condemned the arrest of two more farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri, even as the Uttar Pradesh administration is dragging its feet in the case of deliberate pre-planned mowing down of peaceful farmers. In the local court, the defence counsels have sought an explanation from the prosecution about the death of one of the BJP workers even though he was handed over by the protesting farmers to the police after being caught.
SKM has warned BJP that farmers are aware of its divisive politics and will not fall prey to the same, and has demanded once again that the ‘sutradhaar’ of the hate crime in the Lakhimpur Kheri farmers massacre Ajay Mishra Teni be dismissed and arrested immediately for murder.