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Thousands of Farmers march to Delhi for their Mukti

Mukti (Independence) from indebtedness and suicides

Nirmesh Singh

New Delhi. 29 Nov 2018

Several thousand farmers and agricultural workers are marching towards Delhi today in Kisan Mukti March to demand an increased minimum support price (MSP) in accordance with C2 formula, one-time unconditional loan waiver and a special 21-day joint session of Parliament for discussing and solving agrarian distress in the country. Farmers are marching from various locations in Delhi to reach Ramlila Maidan today they will March to Parliament Street on tomorrow – November 30.

The demands also include two private member bills, collectively called Kisan Mukti Bills that were tabled in August by Member of Parliament Raju Shetti be passed and the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission be discussed. These two bills are – ‘The farmers’ freedom from indebtedness bill’ and ‘The farmers’ right to guaranteed remunerative minimum support prices for agricultural commodities bill’.

It is a two-day Kisan Mukti March, organized by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) and the protest by the farmers is being led by Swaraj Abhiyan chief Yogendra Yadav and rural affairs journalist and activist P. Sainath. AIKSCC is a coalition group of over 200 farmer organisations from across the country.

Talking to NDTV, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Hannan Mollah, also the convener of the AIKSCC has said, “On November 30, the farmers will start their march from Ramlila ground to Parliament. At Parliament Street, farmer leaders will speak on agrarian issues and also leaders of different political parties barring the BJP will address the gathering”.

Within three last months, this is the third time that farmers are again marching towards Delhi. The All India Kisan Sabha’s protest was held in September and the Bhartiya Kisan Union rally in October.  Over the last 18 months, India has been witnessing farmers protests all over the country. The protests by Tamil Nadu farmers last year, Farmers Parliament by Jai Kisan Andolan at Jantar Mantar, Kisan Long March from Nasik to Mumbai this year, MSP Satyagrah, protests in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, increasing farm suicides, etc have brought the agrarian distress and anger to the fore.

“The country is reeling under rural distress for decades but the protests of this magnitude are unprecedented. It shows the gravity of agrarian crisis”, said Sudhir Kumar, a TPA professional working in Delhi.

Sudhir Kumar comes from farmers family in Kasganj district and supporting the farmers movement.

Another farmers protest is taking place in Singur in West Bengal. Organised by the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), over 50000 farmers are marching from Singur to Raj Bhavan in Kolkata today. They are protesting against state inaction in returning land to farmers. Farmers were to be returned 997 acres which was acquired in 2007, but have been returned only 11 acres, according to the AIKS.