On Wednesday, the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AlBOC) declared to support the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by farmers under Samyukta Kisan Morcha, to be held on September 27. The bankers’ union AIBOC also urged the government of India to re-open dialogue with the Samyukta Kisan Morcha on their demands and rescind the three farm laws in question. The farmers have been protesting since November 2020, sitting at the borders of the capital demanding to revisit the three farm laws that were passed by the Parliament in September 2020. Though the government has tried talking them out of it multiple times, but to no avail. Farmers of India have been obstinate about their movement right from the start and even now when their strike has completed 300 days, they refuse to budge.
Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) – the umbrella organization which is spearheading the protest – said that the movement is proof of the strength of the will of the farmers all across the country and they are determined to carry on. They also told the media that different sections of the society are being reached out to by farmers’ appeals to support them and solidify their goal in every nook and corner that is India. People are starting to see the farmers’ cause as a means to protect and ensure democracy in the country. Under Samyukt Kisan Morcha, the 40 farmer organizations have joined to support “Bharat Bandh” on September 27, which according to them will only strengthen their movement. Citing the NSS Land and Livestock holdings of Households and Situation Assessment of Agricultural Households, 2018-19 report released a few weeks ago, the union said it indicates that the government’s target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 seems a distant dream.
The average outstanding loan per agricultural household has increased to Rs 74,121 in 2018 from Rs 47,000 in 2013. The growing indebtedness of agricultural households reflects deep farm distress, they told the media. The parties have decided to hold a ‘Bharat Bandh’ on September 27 against the anti-people policies of the BJP-led NDA government. According to reports, over 500 farmers’ associations and 400 trade unions have promised their support to this bandh. Mr. Ramakrishna appealed to give their support from Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and opposition leader N. Chandrababu Naidu and oversee the Bharat Bandh in order to prove if they are sincere enough for the ‘people’s cause’. The rally is boosted by the presence of Congress leader M. Gopal Reddy, Republican Party of India (RPI) president P. Anjaiah, TDP Tirupati parliamentary unit in-charge G.
Narasimha Yadav, trade union leader K.Kumar Reddy, corporator R.C. Munikrishna, as well as Tirupati Chamber of Commerce President A.Manjunath. Furthermore, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha has gathered support from various trade unions, women’s organizations, workers’ unions, trade unions, and plenty of employees’ and students’ unions who have pledged to plan the bandh. Kisan mahapanchayats are being conducted in villages to attract more and more people for the awaited “Bharat Bandh”. Cycle and motorcycle rallies are also being organized, the SKM told us. The chief of Bharatiya Kisan Union’s (BKU) Chanduni faction in Haryana Gurnam Singh Chaduni on Wednesday stated that the protesting farmers will not move until the three contentious farm laws of the Centre are repealed. Farmer leader Ravi Azad said the roads of Delhi will remain closed till the three farm laws are scrapped.
The Haryana government established a high-powered committee in September to negotiate with the union leaders involved in protests regarding the clearing of a blockade on National Highway-44 at the Kundli-Singhu border. But the union leaders boycotted the meeting together. Haryana home minister Anil Vij said yesterday while questioning that the Supreme Court will be apprised of the development. In August, the court had ordered the central government and the states surrounding Delhi to find a solution together about the road blockades at various borders and highways around Delhi. The farmers have been protesting since November 2020, sitting at the borders of the capital demanding to revisit the three farm laws that were passed by the Parliament in September 2020.
They believe that these laws are made to benefit only corporate houses and will significantly hurt their wages. The government of India tried to have multiple rounds of discussion and negotiations with the farmers, but they won’t budge, so the government has declined all allegations and blamed it on misinformation provided to them about the landmark reforms. For this, the central government has accused the opposition parties. To add to this, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha has gathered support from various trade unions, women’s organizations, workers’ unions, trade unions, and plenty of employees’ and students’ unions who have pledged to plan the bandh this coming Monday. The farmers’ cause is a declaration of the sheer will and perseverance of millions of farmers in India that strives to be stronger and more powerful by the day.
“The Samyukt Kisan Morcha states that this historic movement stands as a testimony to the will, resolve, and hope of lakhs of farmers across the country. The SKM also vows to strengthen the movement, going forward, and make it more widespread,” the union stated. Furthermore, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha has requested all the United States-based non-resident Indians (NRIs) to raise the issue in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is on a visit to the U.S., especially when he arrives at the UN headquarters in New York on September 25. The farmers’ unions have posted videos on social media to call out support from the US-based Indian for spreading the movement’s motive among other cross-sections of their country. Morcha leader Darshan Lal posted a video message where he said that the NRIs should carry their movement when the PM visits as he seems to be deaf to our demands that we’ve been carrying for the last 10 months.
US-based Doctor Swaiman Singh, presently putting up at Tikri border, providing medical facilities to the protesting farmers, has asked his fellow US citizens to unite and put a strong front of PM Modi on his visit on September 25. He added, “gather in New York and hold banners reading ‘No Farmers, No Food’ on tractors, trucks, and cars to show solidarity with the farmers’ protest, during which over 600 farmers lost their lives in the last 10 months.” Farmer leader Manjit Singh Rai too posted a similar message, inspiring his friends and local associations to hold protests when PM Modi meets the dignitaries or addresses the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). US President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with our PM Modi along with Vice President Kamala Harris and the PMs of Australia and Japan, apart from addressing the UNGA.