Historic peasants’ movement in demand for repeal of the three Black Farm Laws and Electricity (Amendment ) Bill is continuing for seven long months defying all odds and virtual blackout in the mainstream media. Despite all attempts, the BJP government has not been able to break their determined struggle for a just cause. Even amidst the pandemic, taking all necessary precautions, the Sanjukta Kishan Morcha (SKM), which is leading the movement, and its allies are adopting one after another programme to intensify the movement. One such programme has been to undertake a Sansad Abhiyan during the ongoing monsoon session which commenced from 22 July. On that day, the struggling peasants assembled at Jantar Mantar of Delhi and the SKM leaders addressed the gathering. Comrade Satyawan, President of AIKKMS, which is a key constituent of SKM, placed the following views in that gathering on 22 July.
I am taking forward the discussion on Mandi Act on behalf of All India Kisan Khet Mazdoor Sangathan (AIKKMS). Before 1960, the traders who used to buy crops from us, used to rob us in price and also in weight. Therefore, because of the movement that had raised the voice of protest of the deceived farmers, the government grain markets were opened i.e. APMC markets came in to existence. Peasants got some protection from them.
I want to point out that the very nature of agriculture is such that there are lots of risks in it. Therefore, farmers need protection from the government. If there is more rain or floods, then the crop is ruined. If there is a drought, there is no harvest. If damaged by insects or there is hailstorm, then also the crop is ruined. Moneylenders and banks rob the farmers. When the farmers carry their crops to the market, they have to face the market forces, i.e. traders. These market forces are the most brutal forces. There have been two world wars between them regarding the snatching of the market. Farmers have to go to them to sell their crops. These APMC mandis were brought only as a safeguard or as a protection against the loot or exploitation by them. The Modi government has now brought the private Market Act, if the government markets are abolished, then we will see the same what happened to Abhimanyu in the epic of Mahabharata. The giant gadadharis (mace holders) from all sides together killed the little boy alone. Similarly, 85 percent of the small farmers will be wiped out at the very first blow of these black laws. The total agriculture and the produce of the farmers would be completely controlled by the capitalists. Modi ji had said that ‘I am giving protection to the farmers by taking the arhtiyas out of the market’ and that ‘the country got freedom in 1947, but the farmers will get freedom now’. No friends, the big companies, the domestic and foreign companies are thousands of times bigger robbers than the arhtiyas. So this freedom or defence shield is actually given by Modi ji to these companies, to loot the farmers unabated. Then, MSP will become a matter of past, if private mandis are formed. The mandis will be completely occupied by domestic and foreign companies. We do not accept this at all. That’s why we have been fighting for last 13 months. For the last 8 months, we have been fighting sitting on the Delhi borders.
The last point, I will say is that Modi brought Three Black Ordinances bypassing the Parliament, making these Black Laws by violating the established parliamentary norms. Modi, his party BJP and RSS are sold to the Ambanis and the Adanis. His government is also sold to them. Parliament is used only as a facade. Therefore, the developing powerful sustained movement is the only way by which farmers can get rid of Modi’s dark exploits. Farmers can be saved from all these three Black Farm Laws and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill.
The Electricity (Amendment) Bill has just been placed in the Parliament to make it a law. Movement also can save the Farmers from the stringent provisions of the law of pollution that has been made. So, we will continue our movement. We are not going to leave until these Black Laws are withdrawn. We condemn the Modi government which has turned Jantar Mantar into a cage. This is also against democracy. Farmers are fighting for their right cause and are also fighting against a conspiracy to snatch food from whoever eats it. They have been fighting to save the livelihood of the common people and also to save democracy. Thank you.”