Sabka-Saath-Sabka-Vikas Model

‘A Legalised MSP Will Bring Farmers Into Sabka-Saath-Sabka-Vikas Model’

Devinder Sharma, an eminent agricultural expert and a food & trade policy analyst, says wellbeing of the country’s farmers will ensure all-inclusive economic progress. His views:

This is one of the most crucial questions I have been asking. If the government can write off nearly ₹15 lakh crore corporate bad loans in the past 10 years, and also ask banks to enter into a compromise with willful defaulters, which means another write-off of ₹3.45-lakh crore, for people who have the money but don’t want to pay back the outstanding loans — why is it then dithering on legalising the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for farmers? In any case, the ₹10 lakh crore of economic burden every year that the mainline economists are trying to project is nothing but the creation of a fear psychosis. 

In reality, since only 14 per cent farmers get MSP in India and the remaining 86 per cent farmers are dependent on markets, the fact remains that markets have been short-changing farmers all these years. On an average, farmers are able to sell at prices that are on an average 25 to 30 per cent less, compared to the MSP announced for 23 crops, which, largely, remain on paper. When these 86 per cent farmers will have more money in their hands once the MSP becomes a legal instrument, their purchasing power will go up. They will be spending it in the markets, thereby raising a huge rural demand. The economy will then gallop.

Instead of being browbeaten by mainline economists, policy-makers must realise that a legalised MSP is a sure pathway for achieving the Prime Minister’s vision of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas.

Unlike the iconic and protracted farmers’ protest earlier that lasted for over a year in 2020-21, forcing the government to withdraw the three contentious farm laws, the farmers’ struggle that is currently underway lacks unity. With two farmer unions spearheading the struggle, a large chunk of the collective that led the protests two years back have shied up. However, with the average farmers getting restive, the leadership that has still not openly joined the protest, is finding ways to lend support. Besides, the events on March 8, the International Women’s Day, when a huge contingent of farm women protested at various places in Punjab, is an indication that as and how the protests linger on, there will be more support coming in. 

ALSO READ: ‘Punjab Farmers Are Fighting for Millions of Others’

The protests this year have been stopped at the border areas in Haryana from moving towards New Delhi. The fortification of the national highway, and the courts now directing farmers not to use tractors in the protest, is at variance with what is happening in Europe where farmers in at least 14 countries have protested in the last few weeks in January/February, 2024. Even now, farmers are protesting in at least 12 countries, using tractors; they have also been blocking roads and throwing manure and mud on the highways, and in front of office buildings.

Farmers have laid a siege of Berlin and Paris, and demonstrated outside the European Commission in Brussels. European governments are allowing farmers the right to protest and have openly expressed the willingness to meet them and listen to their grievances.

Indeed, it is too early to say whether the farmers protest this year will impact the ensuing Lok Sabha elections. There is a fear that in the absence of any amicable solution being arrived at soon, more and more farmers’ groups will join the protests. Also, with farm unions making it clear, that even if the code of conduct becomes applicable in the next couple of weeks, they are likely to stay put; this only shows that farmers are there at the Haryana borders for a long haul.

The narrator is an award-winning writer and researcher, whose opinions on the farmers’ struggle and issues of Indian agriculture have been widely shared in print, audio-visual and social media for over three decades

As told to Amit Sengupta

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Punjab Farmers Fighting For Others Rights As Well

‘Punjab Farmers Are Fighting for the Rights of Millions of Others’

Joe John, a farmer from Kottayam, Kerala, who practices sustainable agricultural methods, finds it distressing when the state treats protesting farmers as enemy of the state. His views:

About the current farmers protest in Punjab, there’s a mixed feeling of both sadness and joy. The sad part is that the farmers have to be return to the streets after an year-long protest couple of years back which led to the proposed farm laws being repealed. The good part is that it serves as an inspiration for all others to struggle and get what is their due, their fundamental right, from the government. They would not allow themselves to be trampled by the raw power which the State is putting out against the struggle, as if they are enemies of the nation!

Thus I totally empathise with all my brothers and sisters from Punjab who are out on the streets fighting for the rights of millions of farmers across the country.

The fact is food prices have been kept low for decades and farmers have cross-subsidised other sections. One should look at the prices of agricultural produce historically and the salaries of government employees, to name just one section, to get an idea of the kind of disparity which exists. It’s not a correct picture when governments keep on harping about the amount of subsidies which is being given to the farmers and forget about the rise in input costs, be it wages, manure or other aspects of agriculture.

Not just industrialists, even people employed in the organised sector are able to get their demands fulfilled by the government because they are more organised and have more resources to ensure that these are fulfilled.

John says income of farmers has not risen in proportion to other stratas of society

One of the reasons for the neglect of the agricultural sector could be that there is a lack of a formal body which represents not only the interests of the farmers, but also of all others who have a direct stake in the well-being of this sector which provides employment to such a large section of the working population. Hopefully, these struggles, in the last couple of years, will be a turning point.

ALSO READ: Understanding the MSP Issue, India and WTO

By not giving legal guarantees for MSP, which is one of the key demands of the current struggle, the BJP-led government in Delhi is trying to wash away its responsibility. One can agree that the current MSP mechanism is only benefitting a very small section of our farmers, as it covers a very low proportion of our agricultural produce, both in terms of quantity as well as the variety of crops. In most states the farmers are totally dependent on private traders for selling their produce and it’s mostly distress-selling which happens. This is because not only farmers do not have space for storing their produce, but, also, they do not have clarity about the movement of prices. Indeed, APMCs need to be set up all over the country with proper infrastructure which are closer to the location of farmers.

Climate change is going to be the biggest threat in the coming years and there is a need for widespread adoption of agro-ecological practices. However, one cannot expect the farmers to do this on their own without any support from the government. A country like India which has such a large proportion of population dependant on agricultural and allied sectors, cannot afford to be complacent on this issue. This is because it is going to affect the livelihoods of millions of people on the ground across the country, and threaten our short-term and long-term food security.

(The narrator passed out from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai and has worked in various peaceful social movements across the country, including the Narmada Bachao Andolan)

As told to Amit Sengupta

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No Bharat Ratnas For Farmers

No Bharat Ratnas For Farmers!

At the Shambhu border, one farmer shouts out loud on the microphone: “The wait is over, here it comes. Get it man. Get it.”

Two kites are flying high. One quickly does a rapid gota; in kite-language it means a fast, sharp and swift spiral downwards, which only a rare and expert patangbaaj, trained to fly kites in the gullies and terraces of small towns and village mohallas, would know. The kite dips like a rocket and there is a huge cry of joy: “Got it.”

The drone has been trapped by the kite. Earlier, the drones were dropping tear gas like bombs, a first in Indian history.

This is not a fly-in-the-sky game. This is a virtually a war waged by the Indian State against thousands of peaceful and unarmed farmers protesting for a just Minimum Support Price (MSP), a long-standing demand in a market dominated by capitalist sharks aligned to the ruling regime in Delhi.

Last we heard about drones was in Gaza. Certain journalists, ordinary folks, mothers and kids, they were targeted and murdered by Israeli drones. While India, under this current regime, whose PM has publicly displayed his bonding and bonhomie with Benjamin Netanyahu, is one of the largest importers of arms from Israel, the use of drones against the civilian population is a first in India. Earlier, all US presidents, including Barack Obama, have used drones to target ‘terrorists’ in Afghanistan and the Middle-East, with scores of civilians also murdered as ‘collateral damage’ – a normal war-tactics for the Americans, now done at a mass scale by its close ally, Israel, with American guns and bombs.

Not only drones, as during the great and glorious struggle of the farmers in 2021, through rain, sunshine, freezing cold and a scorching summer, for months, the farmers had braved tear gas, lathi-charges, water cannons, armoured barricades, and huge metallic nails, cement barricades, and multiple blockades during the protracted peaceful struggle against the farm bills. These are the same tactics once again being employed at the Delhi border. Now, they are reportedly using pellets as well, used repeatedly and ruthlessly in Kashmir earlier. Three farmers have lost their vision, according to reports.

The notorious farm bills were widely seen as another brazen ploy by the PM to privatise agriculture and vast tracts of fertile land owned by the farmers into a cash-rich fiefdom for certain crony capitalist buddies, namely from Gujarat. Finally, they lost the battle. The bills were repealed – but the promises were not kept.

Significantly, the farmers are demanding, since long, that the MS Swaminathan Committee report on MSP should be implemented. The ruling regime has continuously back-tracked on this crucial issue which is at the core of the economic well-being of India’s hard working farmers. Why? And why is the PM so afraid to allow the farmers to peacefully protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi – which is their constitutional right?

One lakh crore was lost by the government in year 2021 due to tax concessions and corporate subsidies to industrialists. Ports, mining, forests, airports, etc, apart from huge multi-million projects, are being dished to out to certain favourite industrialists, thousands of crores have been spent on the Ram Mandir, the Sardar Patel statue in Gujarat, a particular stadium named after the PM in Ahmedabad, and the new Parliament building. So, why deny their economic rights to the annadatas, pending for so long?

In a season when it has been raining Bharat Ratnas, agricultural scientist and one of the founders of the botched-up Green Revolution in north India, Swaminathan was given the Bharat Ratna. The move has flopped miserably. His daughter, economist Madhura Swaminathan, has openly come out in support of the farmers proving that not all have sold their soul in ‘totalitarian’ India.

“The farmers of Punjab today are marching to Delhi. I believe, according to newspaper reports, there are jails being prepared for them in Haryana, there are barricades. All kinds of things are being done to prevent them (from entering Delhi). These are farmers; they are not criminals,” she said at the Indian Agriculture Research Institute in an event to mark the Bharat Ratna for her father.

“I request all of you, the leading scientists of India… (we) have to talk to our farmers. We cannot treat them as criminals. They are our annadatas. You have to find some solutions. I request, if you have to honour MS Swaminathan, we have to take the farmers with us with whatever strategy that we are planning for their future,” she said.

ALSO READ: Why Are Indian Farmers Protesting Again?

Narasimha Rao, former Congress PM, unleashed crony capitalism, liberalization, structural adjustment, and the sell-out to West-dominated global financial agencies like the IMF and WTO, with Manmohan Singh as finance minister. He also played blind and deaf while the Babri Masjid was being demolished by the foot-soldiers of LK Advani, while the current PM, then a RSS pracharak, was at Advani’s side. December 6 was then called a ‘black day’ by an outraged nation and the entire media, even by those who have now been running non-stop eulogies on TV and print media on the grand ‘pran pratishtha’ ceremony at Ayodhya.

Now, even Rao has got the highest official award in the land which is an open admission of his complicity in the demolition of the mosque in Ayodhya, while being a lackey of Western-global predator capitalism in India. Unabashed loyalty to billionaire businessmen, and the polarizing Hindutva card unleashed, mixed with a dose of fake ‘social justice’ for the backwards – this is the triple whammy which the ruling regime thinks would result in total victory in the Lok Sabha polls of 2024.

However, even the most cunningly crafted script can turn sour. The award to Chaudhry Charan Singh seemed to have pushed his grandson to suddenly start glorifying the PM, with the possibility of him joining the NDA alliance. The last farmers’ struggle had unified the Muslims and Jat kisans in western UP once again, after they were communally polarized by poisonous social engineering before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Har Har Mahadev and Allah-o-Akbar became united slogans of the farmers during the movement.

The same farmers are holding a mahapanchayat and might join forces at the Shambhu border. The farmer struggle has decisively spilled into Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh – a bad omen for the PM weeks before the parliamentary polls. Western UP was never a Hindutva stronghold. Hence, the award given to Charan Singh to appease the jat farmers seems to have failed its purpose.

Indeed, there have been indications that despite the hype and hyperbole on the Ram Mandir in the Hindi heartland, it’s not really becoming a win-win trump card among a wider audience. More so, the Supreme Court judgment on electoral bonds, has come as a shock to the PM and his party. All the big money names would be soon displayed on the Election Commission website. The freezing and de-freezing of Congress accounts, yet again unprecedented in the history of Indian democracy, was therefore a desperate move to divert attention. It boomeranged.

Clearly, it is not all hunky dory for Modi and his men in the days to come. There have been huge protests against the EVMs in Delhi, largely unreported in mainstream media. With thousands of civil society groups and people’s movements working on the ground, the vengeful ED raids and hounding of Opposition leaders creating widespread discontent and anger, and the stupendous response to Rahul Gandhi’s yatra, the Hindutva kite which was flying high after its victory in three cow-belt states, seems to be losing steam.

However, it is a fact that the poison of hate has spread deep in the social fabric, especially in many parts of north India, while Uttarakhand has become the latest hate lab. As the polls come closer, a tense undercurrent floats in the in the air. Pulwama is remembered yet again. The tragedy is still simmering. The tears in the eyes of the families have not dried up.

As the old jungle saying goes: when it comes to the insatiable lust for power, anything can happen. Indeed, will India remain a secular and pluralist democracy after the 2024 polls? We keep our fingers crossed.

Weekly Update: Modi Upsets Sikhs Again; Rahul Wants Constitutional Rights

Prime Minister Narendra Modi simply can’t win with the Diaspora Sikhs, especially those whose lives rotate on Indian Prime Ministers being perpetual enemies. Despite hundreds of social media, WhattsApp groups, websites run by many Sikh individuals and organisations, one news seems to have been missing in all of them. That is the latest news on the MSP, the subsidy for wheat and rice, hot off the press but not in their press.

The threat of withdrawing MSP or Minimum Support Price, was one of the main reasons that the global Sikh community went into an overdrive, literally overdriving trucks, tractors and in more urban places, cars, to express their anger at the notorious Modi Farm Laws. They were declaring their support for the hundreds of thousands of Punjabi farmers who were protesting, braving rain, sun, cold, and sun in Delhi.

Now Modiji has gone and done something that has put many of them in a state of utter disbelief. So dreadful is this situation, that the ‘diaspora Sikh activists’ are lost both for words and actions! They don’t want to believe Modi ji can be so irresponsible! Normally they can dig news from the deepest inner sanctum of Indian establishment. This time they have adopted the approach, see no good, hear no good, speak no good, of the enemy! What has Modi done?

Modiji has supported MSP! SUPPORTED MSP! And what’s more Modiji has taken a warrior like stand at the World Trade Organisation, WTO, in support of protecting the farmers of India, including Punjab. He is not supposed to do that! Modi is meant to be the permanent ‘enemy’ of these protesting Sikh groups. Modi has taken their side. WHAT WILL THEY PROTEST ABOUT NOW?

But it gets more tricky. Facts are challenging sensitivities and loyalties!

At the 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO, the USA leading G-7 group (which includes the favourite new homeland of Sikhs, Canada) have criticised India for refusing to bring its MSP in line with WTO rules. They accuse India of ‘distorting the market’ by giving MSP of 50% above production costs. This breached WTO rules that restrict it to only 10% above production costs. USA et all went as far as saying that India’s policy is making the grain crises from Ukraine worse.

Now the West has been quite hysterical and emotional about the Ukraine and has sunk ‘logic’ to an abyss of irrationality. It has been shrieking that Moscow wants to occupy all of Europe and even London and Buckingham Palace (King Putin) and must be stopped. Most of the non-western world has been wondering if the West has gone bonkers and wants to stay out of the conflict, much to the insomniac frustration of the G-7 + rest of west.

But to accuse India’s MSP for the world grain crises is taking even irrational statements to a new standard of creationist paranoia.

PM Modi’s Government wants WTO rules to change and permit ‘developing’ countries to give more than 10% MSP above production cost and not be charged at WTO of breaking rules. The US, Canada, Australia and a few others want India to reduce MSP so they can sell their own grain in Indian market and rest of world without competition from India.

The diasporic Sikhs are quiet, perhaps in shock or turning a blind eye to these pesky facts. No word of praise for Modi has been uttered even in whispers. But their biggest dilemma now is, will they drive their trucks, tractors and cars to the White House, or Trudeau’s front door and demand ‘take your grubby hands off our MSP’. It’s a double whammy. First Modi comes to their side, and then their ‘new homelands’ are in fact destroying their relatives in Punjab.

But God is kind, June has come to the rescue. It’s the month when annual rallies by followers of Gandhian Ahimsa, are held to vent anger about the 1984 attack on Sri Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) by India. Around the world, 360⁰. As Modi is the current Prime Minister of India, he is the target of ‘Modi, Hai Hai, Khalistan Zindabad’. His role in the narrative is to be the bad guy. He has broken that contract! God save the Sikhs, never short of a Schtick.

Citizen Rahul Seeks Equality

Rahul Bhai Gandhi wants to be a citizen and wants his rights under the Constitution! A Constitution that his family in history has treated as ‘house rules’, changed and interpreted as their majesty’s wished. Millions have suffered from the Gandhi family interpretations. Now the Constitution has turned on him. It hurts.

Like courtiers at the Palace, Congress leaders have been protesting at Jantar Mantar for the Prince. They are protesting that the ‘family’ is being victimised and that Enforcement Directorate (ED) has no power to question the Shahebzada of India, Rahul Bhai Gandhi. Even Kapil Sibal has got into the act.

This is the Constitution that Great Grand Daddy made after plagiarising the 1935 British India Act. It is committed to secularism. When minority religions asked for their culture to be given statutory protection, Great Grand Daddy Nehru, said ‘Nahi ho sakta’ we are now secular. But when Hindus asked for cow protection, Nehru seeing votes sliding, quickly enacted ‘cow protection law’, treating cow as a minority. Although they say there are more cows in India than people. When asked, he said it is ‘Indian secularism’, really meaning Nehru secularism dependent on vote banks. Minorities then reverted to non-voting methods to get their version of Indian secularism in law.

Then Grandmother Gandhi decided Indian Constitution only requires one vote to win. So she disenfranchised all Indians of a vote and by her single vote, she brought in the Emergency in 1975. She called it Indian-type democracy. Or Gandhi interpretation of the Constitution. The Sikhs and the international community chased her out after two years, 80,000 in jails, many tortured and the hapless Dr Subramaniam Swamy having to run from the country, seeking refuge in a Harvard teaching post. Modi ji escaped by tying on a turban and pretended to be a Sikh sewadar at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib in Delhi.

Then family interpretation of the Constitution led to attack on Sri Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) to ‘arrest’ Bhindrawallah and 24 others. Twelve were already dead and others were not present there. There was no charge sheet against Bhindrawallah. No court case. But who cared about such literal interpretation of constitution! It was the Gandhi family interpretation. She decided he was a terrorist and one morning decided she needs to send in the Army to arrest him. Didn’t end well for her.

Then Daddy Gandhi, suspended State and the Constitution’s primary duty of protection of life and liberty through the 59th amendment in 1989. Rajiv Gandhi, treating the Constitution as house rules, decided that as Sovereign family, he can behead people at will (or under his will) and not be bound by silly European ideas of the State’s purpose to protect life and liberty. The trigger-happy Punjab Police was over the moon and went on a shooting spree, termed ‘encounters’ and ‘eliminated’ over 20,000 young men. UN and many Governments reminded Rajiv that life and liberty is the basic purpose of the Constitution.

Then he brought in a number of laws for detention without charges, without trials and you name it. The Constitution was what the Gandhis wanted it to be, albeit with the help of a flock sheep in Parliament shepherded to agree with King Gandhi. Under TADA, 78,000 Gujratis ended in detention without charges in Gujrat where there was no known terrorism. About 75,000 Punjabi Sikhs were detained in Punjab. Only a 160 or so were finally convicted of any ‘terrorist’ threat and that also without much evidence.

Then puppeteer Mummy Gandhi put gold star servant Manmohan Singh to do her bidding. Sikh political prisoners languished in prisons although no constitutional provision permits life sentence for political prisoners. However, the Constitution is what the Gandhis wanted it. Police excesses continued. Bribes apparently broke world records.

The list is endless. Detention without charges or even proper procedures. In Bhuller case, there was no evidence and no witnesses

Now Rahul Bhai wants Constitutional rights! Dr Swamy, the nemesis of Gandhis, has never forgotten his exile from the one woman democratic decision of ‘Emergency’. He wants to exile the Gandhi family to an Island that might sink under climate change.

He brought a charge in court of money laundering against prince and mummy Gandhi who are major shareholders in a company called Young India, even though they are geriatrics. Apparently Congress handed them ₹2,000 crore of property which should really be owned by the country as the original company, Associated Journals, was started by 5,000 freedom fighters and Great Grand Daddy to run a newspaper National herald. It has passed on to the ‘Family’.

The Enforcement Directorate is simply doing its jobs as would be required by court, since charges are at court. Unlike during the Gandhi years, Rahul is free to go home and come back and not in some dingy detention centre being kicked around by a drunken Punjab cop saying ‘oyee’.

The comical group of once very terrifying and powerful entity known as the Congress high command have been reduced by Modi to gather at Jantar Manter shouting and asking for rights that they used to trample on when in power. How things come around! He is only receiving what the family established. Still, if jailed, authorities might oblige and station female jailers wearing shorts, one of Rahul’s visions for modern India.

Sugarcane Grower in Western Uttar Pradesh

‘There Is Nothing Sweet About Sugarcane Farming’

Nirdesh Chaudhary, 42, discloses the hardships of a sugarcane grower in Western Uttar Pradesh, from delayed payment of dues by mill owners to mounting farm loans and more

We might be growing sugarcane but there is no sweetness left in our lives as farmers. We have to run from pillar to post for every small thing. Growing sugarcane in itself is a time and labour intensive process and even after that we don’t get paid enough for our produce. And whatever little we get isn’t paid on time.

When we earn from one crop cycle it is only then that we can invest in the next crop rotation. We grow other crops too like wheat, Urad pulse and rice alongwith sugarcane and all our crops suffer if we don’t get paid by mill owners on time.

The current price set by the government for sugarcane yield is ₹350 per quintal, which amounts to a measly ₹3.5 per kg. Do you think we invest only ₹3.5 for growing each kilogram of sugarcane? The cost of producing sugarcane is rising each year. And Covid-19 for the past two years has made things even worse.

I haven’t received payment for the past two months for nearly 10-12 transactions. Shouldn’t the government go a step beyond just setting up a price? Shouldn’t the government ensure that the farmers receive the payment, and timely payment at that?

ALSO READ: ‘Govt Wants Farm Sector To Go Telecom Way’

The mill owners are not interested in the plight of farmers. Instead of paying the cane supplying farmers they remain busy in power games by forming lobbies in Lucknow (seat of power in Uttar Pradesh). No matter how many protests, sit-ins and negotiations we have tried to draw attention, the mill owners don’t budge an inch.

Chaudhary wants Govt to fix MSP for all crops

The farmer’s voice goes unheard. It is the same story year after year. Which is why the farmers were so vocal during the recent protests. If local mill owners can treat us like this, imagine what the entry of big corporates in the sector would hold for us!

We feed the nation, but our children go to bed hungry. We are supposed to repay our farm loans back on time but the same rule does not apply on mill owners for dues. The pending dues often force us to default on paying our bills, which results in our electricity supply being cut off, affecting both our homes and fields. At times, we aren’t able to pay our children school fees on time and face humiliation.

Just how are we supposed to survive in such an atmosphere? Middlemen, mill owners… it is as if there’s no one in the system who supports the interest of farmers. The government should seriously think about farm loan waivers if they want to see the farming community not merely struggling to survive, but actually thriving. Farmers are forced to commit suicide because the whole system is stacked against them. Imagine all your efforts going to naught, that’s how we farmers feel. We don’t want our kids to continue farming, any small job would do but not farming. There’s nothing left in it.

That is why agreeing on MSP for all produce is such an important requirement for farmers. The government might have taken back the farm bills but it needs to implement corrective measures soon, otherwise an agrarian crisis is looming large. We farmers are somehow surviving, but it is high time all other stakeholders pulled up their socks too.

As Told To Yog Maya Singh

Farmers from Punjab and Haryana Camp at Singhu Border

Watch – ‘We Feel Blessed By Serving The Farmers’

As farmers from Punjab and Haryana camp at Singhu border to demand rollback of three Agriculture Laws, members of the Sikh community have come out in support of the demonstrators. Many of them are providing free ‘Seva’ in the form of piping hot tea, fresh snacks and other food items to keep the protesters warm in the cold weather.

LokMarg this week spoke to several such ‘sevadaars’ who have set up langars that provide ‘Badam Chai’, an almond tea with snacks, and healthy snacks 24×7 to the protesters. These service providers say the facilities will continue as long as the farmers are stationed at the Singhu border. There is little doubt in their minds that the Centre will have to roll back the ‘black laws’ in the interest of the farmers.

Watch the full video here

North India and Mercury Dips Close to 1 Degree Celsius

Watch – ‘We Have Faced Colder Nights In Our Fields’

Even as cold wave sweeps north India and mercury dips close to 1 Degree Celsius, farmers protesting at various Delhi borders have dug their feet in. LokMarg speaks to several farmers camping near Singhu border as to what keeps them going despites such cold weather.

Most farmers make light of the biting cold, saying that they have faced colder nights working in their fields. They also reiterate that till the Centre repeals the ‘black laws’ they are not going anywhere, weather be damned.

Watch Full Video Here:

Agitating Farmers at Singhu Border

Watch – ‘We Don’t Trust This Jumlebaaz Govt’s Word’

Agitating farmers at Singhu border tell LokMarg that ground situation about state procurement is different from what Modi government managers are speaking on the media. Haryana farmers list out their hardships in selling their millet and groundnut crops, their counterpart from Punjab say the current regime is working under the pressure of capitalists who want to establish monopoly in the agriculture sector

They have little faith in the verbal assurance from the government over minimum support price or Mandi system. “The very fact that the Centre is ready to amend the laws shows they have inherent flaws,” the farmers on the site say.

Watch full video here

Also Watch: ‘Govt Has Sold Itself To Adani-Ambani’

Also Watch: ‘Won’t Go Back Till Black Laws Withdrawn’

Agitating Farmers at Singhu Border

Watch – ‘Modi Govt Has Sold Itself To Adani-Ambani’

Agitating farmers at Singhu border say their massive protests have brought the NDA government down on its knees and first they will bring down Haryana government in a few weeks, and later the Union government if their demands are not met.

Haryana farmers are also angry that their electoral support had been taken for granted by dynast Dushyant Chautala and Khattar government. They feel betrayed by political class as well as the media for portraying the kisan movement as Khalistani movement.

The farmers say the government has sold itself to Ambani-Adanis. They are confident that the government will have to take back the laws as the protesters are ready for a long haul.

Watch full video here:

Watch Part I Of Farmers Voice: ‘Won’t Go Back Till Laws Repealed’

Watch – ‘Won’t Go Back Till Black Laws Are Withdrawn’

LokMarg visits Singhu Border where farmers from Punjab and Haryana have been holding sit-in protest against Central Agriculture Laws. The protestors are firm in their resolve to stay put till the time Modi government withdraws the ‘black laws’. These farmers are angry over what they call “false reassurances” on MSP and farmers mandis only after prolonged protests.

There is also anger and distrust over private participation in procurement of farm yield, which they say will harm both the producer and the consumer. Some even liken the current regime to British Raj in its nonchalance toward the care and condition of the farming community

Watch Part I of the video here: