On August 15, the 74th anniversary of India’s independence from colonial rule, kisan organisations organised rallies all over the country. Through these rallies, they expressed their resolve to step up the struggle for the repeal of the three anti Kisan laws and a legal guarantee for MSP for all agricultural produce. Lakhs of people participated enthusiastically in these programs.
In Haryana, the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Chaduni) held a mega “Tiranga yatra” on August 15. Kisans took out dozens of motor cycle and tractor rallies in several districts. In Uttar Pradesh, the BKU (Tikait) organised many tractor rallies.
In Punjab, hundreds of meetings and rallies were organised in different villages on the occasion.
BKU (Ekta) Siddhupur President Shri Jagjit Singh Dallewal addressed a mega kisan rally at Khatkar Kalan. Paying tribute to Shaheed e Azam Bhagat Singh, he explained how the struggle being waged by kisans at the border today is not just about withdrawal of the three anti kisan laws. It is at the same time a struggle against a ruinous course that will result in the enslavement of the people. He pointed out the importance of the struggle to defend the economic backbone of our people, the importance of ensuring education and health care, and the struggle to defend our cultural heritage from degenerate imperialist culture.
The Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee organized a motorcycle rally from the Attari-Wagha border to Beas, in which thousands of youth enthusiastically participated. They spiritedly sang songs and raised slogans highlighting their demands. An effigy of the corrupt government was burnt at the Golden Gate on the occasion. Huge rallies were also held at the district headquarters of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, including Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Fazilka.
Sarwan Singh Pandher, general secretary, Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, said that “Ghadari Babas and other martyrs had dreamed of an independent India, but it did not come true. Even today the black laws of the British are imposed on the people of the country. The loot of the working class of the country is still going on. A huge convoy of thousands of motorbikes marched on the roads to tell the government that we are not satisfied with incomplete independence”.
Addressing kisans on the occasion, Gurbachan Singh Chabba said “the ruling government of the country was celebrating the 75th Independence Day on August 15, but it was incomplete independence. After 1947, the working class of the country and the peasantry were still struggling for complete independence”. Denouncing the anti-kisan and anti-people stand of the central government, he said that “while the country’s hard working peasants have been struggling on the roads of Delhi for eight consecutive months, where nearly 600 people have been martyred, the Union Government is adamant on giving the country’s public and economic resources to corporate houses”.
On August 15, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) celebrated the Kisan-Mazdoor Mukti-Sangharsh Diwas in hundreds of villages and cities across Punjab and at a mega rally at Pakoda Chowk at the Delhi border. Shri Joginder Singh Ugrahan, President of the BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) addressed the mega rally at Pakoda Chowk. Tens of thousands of people participated in these meetings.
The speakers at these meetings spoke in depth, of the fact that the Congress leaders of 1947 had betrayed the aspirations of our people, for genuine national liberation aimed at completely throwing out the British and bringing workers and peasants to power. This was the path advocated by Bhagat Singh and his comrades. But the Congress rulers merely replaced the British colonialists. Kisan leaders and activists elaborated at the meetings on how the entire fabric of the colonial order remained intact — the loot of our natural resources by the imperialist powers, the exploitation of workers by the corporate houses, unemployment, the state policy of divide and rule and of organizing communal violence and caste discrimination, the brutal suppression of all forms of dissent etc. That is why we are witnessing this kind of state repression and violation of our rights, they explained.
Opposing the anti-kisan laws, speakers highlighted the pathetic condition of the kisans. They gave numerous examples of how privatisation was ruining the lives of people in spheres of education, health, electricity, transport and employment. They vividly described how farmers were enslaved by the enforcement of paying interest on bank loans. They condemned the oppression and discrimination of women. Speakers condemned the loot of the people’s wealth to fill the coffers of the big corporate houses. They denounced the super-exploitation of workers and violation of their rights through the Labour Code Amendments, the pension scheme amendments, etc. They demanded nationalization of trade, land reforms and land distribution to the landless peasants, cheaper bank loans for agricultural inputs, jobs for the unemployed, unemployment allowance. They condemned caste and communal violence, the violence on women and the crushing of democratic protests.
Protest actions were held in toll plazas and solar plants, to challenge the government’s policies in favour of the biggest corporate houses. At Adani Cello Dagru (Moga), Adani Solar Power Plant Sardargarh (Bathinda) and Toll Plaza Kalajhar (Sangrur), thousands of women and youth assembled. Contract workers, teachers, pensioners, unemployed youth, Anganwadi workers, Asha workers, MNREGA workers, electricity workers, water supply workers and other oppressed sections also joined the protest meetings in support of the kisan andolan.