THE call for ‘Kisan Tractor Vehicle Parades’ on January 26, Republic Day, given by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) to end corporate loot, save agriculture and save India was observed on an unprecedented scale and fervour with massive participation across India. Braving inclement weather, especially in North India, tens of thousands of tractors and other vehicles joined millions of farmers in the parades. As per the reports received so far, parades were held in 484 districts of 27 states and union territories.
SKM congratulates and greets all those who have come forward and made this patriotic action of the farmers and workers of India such a remarkable success.
Apart from farmers unions and organisations, trade unions also participated, thus further strengthening worker-peasant unity at the ground level. Students, youth, women and other sections of the people also joined, expressing solidarity.
Participants of the parades took a pledge to intensify the struggle against the pro-corporate, anti-farmer policies of the Modi government and strengthen the secular and democratic character of the republic of India, at any cost.
The huge success of the parades and the mass character of the gatherings across India is a warning to the BJP-led union government that enforcing anti-farmer, anti-worker, anti-people policies will be met with the widest and strongest resistance of the people.
The parades were part of the second phase of the farmers’ struggle in order to press the union government to implement its written assurances dated December 9, 2021 and other essential demands of farmers, including legalising MSP at C2+50 per cent with guaranteed procurement for all crops, comprehensive loan waiver for farmers and farm workers, stopping of the privatisation of the electricity sector and installation of pre-paid meters, reducing cost of inputs, ensuring government controlled simple and universal crop insurance, dismissal and prosecution of the main conspirator of the Lakhimpur Kheri massacre of farmers, union minster of state for home affairs Ajay Mishra Teni, and other demands.
SKM has already given a call for grameen Bharat bandh on February 16, 2024, on which day trade unions have also given a call for industrial/sectoral strike and SKM expects that rural India will come to a stand-still on that day. The struggle will be extended in the days to come to all the states and districts up to villages and will be further intensified till all the demands are met by the Modi government.
It may be kept in mind that corporatisation of agriculture leading to the agrarian crisis has devastated the lives of farmers, workers and the youth as well. 1,00,474 Indian farmers have committed suicide during the Modi years of 2014-2022. Though Rs 14.64 lakh crore of debt of corporates were written off in the last nine years, not a single rupee of farmers’ debt has been waived. The withdrawal of subsidies for inputs and the uncontrolled price rise has escalated the cost of production in agriculture and day-to-day expenditure of the farmer households.
SKM reiterates that Narendra Modi is the most anti-farmer prime minister India has ever had, who has betrayed the farmers by violating the election promise of ensuring real MSP, loan waiver and 2 crore employment per year.