Peasants across the country have resolved to come together once again to protest against the callousness of the rulers to their growing impoverishment. Despite repeated protests by the peasantry since the last one year and more, the government has failed to guarantee the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of 1.5 times the cost. Dumping of their produce – milk, potatoes, tomatoes and other vegetables – by peasants on the roads because the price they can realize does not even cover their cost of production has become an increasing occurrence over the last few years.
The Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh, an umbrella body of 110 farmers' organisations, announced on 30th April 2018 that peasants across northern and central India would not supply farm products such as vegetables, grains and milk to cities for 10 days from June 1 as a protest against the anti-farmer policies of the Central government. A nation-wide Bharat bandh would be held on June 10 till 2 pm in support of the farmers’ demands for a minimum income guarantee scheme, implementation of Swaminathan Commission report on MSP and waiver of farmers' debt.
Further on 3rd May 2018, two farmers' alliances – the Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh and the Kisan Ekta Manch (a body of 62 peasants’ organisations) held a meeting in Chandigarh to endorse this call. Farmers from several states including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh took part in the meeting. A coordination committee met to draw up the final plan for the programme. Efforts are on to mobilise more peasants’ organisations to join the protests.
On November 20th-21st 2017, farmers from across the country converged on the capital and sat in dharna at Jantar Mantar in front of Parliament, demanding that the government should ensure security of their livelihood. The lack of assured state procurement of their produce at remunerative prices, the rising cost of inputs, the terrible debt burden forcing thousands of peasants to suicide – these were passionately raised by the peasant leaders. Peasants from Tamilnadu had carried on their protest for many weeks in 2017, bare-bodied and with dead rats in their mouths to demonstrate their desperate conditions. Earlier this year, in March, Maharashtra farmers walked nearly 200 kms in scorching heat to declare that they would rather die fighting than die hungry in their fields.
The Indian ruling class has shown total disregard for the conditions of the farmers and their demands. The plan to shut down supplies to the cities is one more step that the peasantry is taking in their long standing struggle for justice.
Communist Ghadar Party fully supports the just demands of the peasants for loan waiver and public procurement. It is the State’s duty to ensure prosperity and protection for peasants! Peasants are not asking for charity! Secure livelihood is their basic right!