C’garh farmers’ movement goes National

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Jan 2018 10:34:49






Staff Reporter,


“News of farmers committing suicide are coming from entire nation as well as Chhattisgarh, but the Governments in Delhi and Raipur have no empathy with farmers, so they have resolved to fight for their rights,” Yogendra Yadav stated as he attended the Kisaan Sankalp Sammelan on Monday.

It’s a historical day today, when farmers’ movement of Chhattisgarh is amalgamating with the nationwide movement of farmers. Big peasant movements have begun in five States such as Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and now Chhattisgarh. The meeting is to press for two major national demands and three Chhattisgarh specific demands. Two national demands include Government pay one and a half times the price of the cultivation cost, as recommended by Swaminathan Ayog and about which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised, whereas second demand is complete waiver of loans to farmers or they will not be able to survive.

Farmers of Chhattisgarh have their three specific demands such as bonus of Rs 300 per paddy bag, stopping acquisition of land and to give lease to tribal people under Forest Rights Act 2006. He hopes that the assimilation of Chhattisgarh movement with the National campaign will create a new wave. He also accused Government of snatching rights of tribal people through backdoor, rights that they got under Land Revenue Code 2013, which is not just unethical, but also unconstitutional. It also violates the (Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) PESA Law and it also flouts 5th schedule of Constitution.

So, farmers across the nation would unite with Chhattisgarh farmers to raise struggle. In November, 180 farmers unions had held Kisaan Mukti Sansad and pledged that they won’t just oppose, but also give the solution.Farmers have made two rules, first were to get full price of their crops and second was to get rid of the loan. Now, we are running nationwide campaign for these two laws. In coming months, wherever there is crop procurement, they would ensure that it is not below the minimum support price as promised by the Governments and to run campaign for loan waiver. They would ask Governments to ratify the draft of Laws that farmers have made for themselves.

Hundreds of farmers and forest dwelling people from different districts had turned up at the public meeting, which was held under the banner Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan. Agriculture Scientist Devender Sharma and Kisaan Mahasabha President Hannamolla also gave their views on the issues facing farming community.

Noted agriculture scientist Devinder Sharma said that from past many years farmers are demanding to fulfill the promise made by government on crop bonus, farmers’ loan waiver and minimum support price, which still remain unfulfilled. He said that State Government had promised during polls in 2013 to increase the minimum support price on paddy to Rs 2100, Rs 300 bonus on per quintal paddy procured and free power irrigation pumps up to five horsepower, which remains unfulfilled.

He also demanded that affected farmers at Naya Raipur and other parts of state whose lands have been acquired should be fulfilled and their lands shouldn not be acquired without their permission nor they should be forced.
Former Union Minister Arvind Netam while addressing the gathering said that amendments in Chhattisgarh Adivasi Land Acquisition Bill will allow land grabbers to deprive millions, destroy agriculture, horticulture, rivers, forests, tree cover and mangroves to extract minerals as well as ground water, without replenishment at a pace that will not leave anything for the next generation.

He further said that an amendment in the bill is a big step against the farmers, workers, and all rural and urban poor communities. It is bound to affect the state’s natural wealth and development priorities. The bill denies peace and good governance, guaranteed to the scheduled castes and tribes.
Netam added that adivasi areas of Chhattisgarh have already raised the voice against imposition of projects on Adivasi communities, as against self rule. Farmers as well as fish-workers, Dalits and labourers too asserted their right to farms, forest, fisheries to grazing lands. He questioned the extraction of mineral resources, destroying their environs and culture nature based lifestyle.

Chhattisgarh Bacaho Andolan President Sudesh Tikam said that earlier farmers have collectively complained Raman Singh government that in past three and half years due to the insensitivity towards farmers’ rights, ruling government has not taken any initiative to fulfil their promises.

Rajkumar Gupta convener of Chhattisgarh Pragatisheel Kisan Sangathan said, thousands of farmers in State are demanding Rs 2,100 minimum support price per quintal of paddy and bonus of Rs 300 per quintal. It is shameful that farmers are being arrested when they launch protest in the State