“Anti-farmer policies would obliterate agriculture and jeopardise food security,” the protesting leaders said.
Jammu and Kashmir Kissan Tehreek staged protest demonstrations in Jammu and Srinagar cities on the eve of Bharat Bandh call by farmer unions, demanding the abolition of anti-farmer laws.
According to a statement issued by CPI (M) party, its chief Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said that these anti-farmer and anti-poor Agriculture laws were passed in the parliament without any consultation, debate, or discussion and were bound to destroy the agriculture sector and endanger India’s food security.
“In addition, these laws would pave the groundwork for the elimination of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and the mortgage of the country’s agriculture and markets to global and domestic agri-business corporations,” he said.
The CPI (M) leader said, “Those in charge may be shocked by the farmer protestors’ determination and dedication because they are unsure where it comes from. It is a matter of identity and survival for farmers. They risk losing their whole way of life, as well as their land and honour.”
“They cannot be misled by the BJP government’s rosy portrayal. They realize that the whole objective of these unconstitutional laws is to reduce them to the status of tenants on their own property by handing over their land and crop to corporate houses and accepting instructions on what to grow and how to grow it, as well as selling the produce at dictated prices,” he added.
Ghulam Nabi Malik, General Secretary of J&K Kissan Tehreek, spoke at a protest demonstration in Srinagar and voiced concern about various problems faced by farmers across the Union Territory.
Farmers have long sought a reasonable price for their produce by maintaining a minimum support price for all crops, according to him.
“The government must bring Basmati rice, saffron, as well as fresh and dried fruits, under the MSP. Despite repeated guarantees and commitments, this valid demand has yet to be fulfilled. Unjustified price increases in petrol, diesel, and LPG have wreaked havoc on the general public,” he further said.
Kissan leaders Mohamad Afzal Parry and Zahoor Ahmad Rather also addressed the protesters in Srinagar.
Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) leaders Omprakash and Sham Prasad Kesar asked for an immediate end to the stringent reforms in labour rules, claiming that these rights were secured after a 150-year battle.
“The working class is in a state of chaos as a result of the ongoing violent attacks on workers’ interests. The Modi government has embarked on a privatization spree in public sector enterprises, including banks, which would deplete public assets and increase unemployment. The Central government needs to stop its privatization spree,” they said.
Kishore Kumar, President of the Kissan Tehreek, Sohan Lal, Baranrasi Das, and Sewa Ram, and other Kissan activists also addressed the Jammu protestors.
They encouraged all political parties to support farmers whole-heartedly rather than be passive observers. They said that the ‘anti-farmer legislation’ has placed farmers in a precarious position.