How will the farmers’ movement end?

The peasant movement is just a tableau. It is a tableau of the misery that is being created in various sectors of the economy due to neo-liberal policies. This can lead to more such mass movements. In this form the conditions of class struggle against monopoly-crony capitalism are taking concrete form in the country. For example, A section of small and medium grocers are also victims of monopoly-crony capitalism-communalism. (Kishan andolan farmers movement)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement to repeal three controversial agricultural laws did not reflect the euphoria of the agitating farmers and their organisations. His response was to view the announcement with caution and skepticism. That is why the expectation of the government and its supporters was not fulfilled that after this announcement the farmers would go back home, thanking the Prime Minister and praising him. Since this hope was not fulfilled, after this, the groups associated with the BJP-RSS ecosystem have again started a campaign to stigmatize the agitating farmer organizations. It is being said that these organizations had come to the movement not for the interest of farmers, but for political purposes and that is why they have continued the movement despite the demand being accepted.

However, the BJP’s opponents’ happiness on the bowing down of Narendra Modi; And the renewed outcry from groups that consider the prime minister’s compulsion to take a step back as a ‘political masterstroke’ – both are an ignorant reaction to the concrete context of the current peasant movement. how? To understand this question, we have to look at this concrete context.

At present, the United Kisan Morcha, which is running the current farmers’ movement, has put forward its six demands in an open letter to the Prime Minister. Three of these demands are relatively old. Whereas three demands have emerged from the situation arising during this agitation which has been going on for more than a year. Their demands for legislation to guarantee the Minimum Support Price (MSP), withdrawal of the Electricity Bill, and abolition of provisions for penalizing stubble burning farmers for causing pollution in the National Capital Region have already been present. Whereas compensation to the kin of farmers who died during the farmers’ agitation, return of the cases filed against the agitating farmers, and the dismissal of the minister’s father accused of crushing the farmers with his car in UP’s Lakhimpur-Kheeri are the demands born during the agitation.

sanyukt kisan morcha meeting

Now it is pertinent to recall here that in 2017-18 also a strong farmer movement had emerged. After the police firing in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, that movement had taken a wide form, which was formed to operate at the national level ‘All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee’. Legal guarantee of MSP and complete loan waiver of farmers were the central demands of the farmers’ movement then.

How big that movement was, it is evident from the fact that observers had described it as the widest peasantry spread after independence. There was a consensus among political analysts about it that farmers’ discontent and their agitation’s demands would be the main narrative in the 2019 general elections. But Pulwama-Balakot changed things. However, as a result of Pulwama-Balakot, the BJP was able to win the Lok Sabha elections with an even bigger majority than in 2014, but that did not change the ground situation. The woes of agriculture and the peasantry—which led to the rise of his movement—remained in its place. Therefore, sooner or later the rise of the peasant movement in a new form was bound to happen. Meanwhile, in the midst of the Corona epidemic in 2020, the government made three agricultural laws and raised the possibility of snatching whatever is left among the farmers. From this the current movement arose.

Getting those agricultural laws back was a life-and-death struggle for the farmers. Returning the electricity bill is also a similar issue for them. The enactment of this bill will mean that electricity is out of reach of the majority of farmers, while electricity is not only essential for their better quality of life, but it is also an important means of farming. On the other hand, the guarantee of MSP is a fundamental condition for their recovery from the crisis in which agriculture and farmers are reaching. Basically four years back the farmers had come on the agitation for this demand.

At present, the farmers have got partial success in the struggle for life and death. But what is their real issue, they are still where they are. In this situation, the expectation that the farmers should now end the agitation and return home can only be the result of not being aware of the situation which is being created in the country at the grassroots level.

It is worth noting that the policies of the government have been responsible for the rise of today’s agrarian crisis. These policies are not only of the present Modi government. Yes, it is definitely that after coming to power, the Modi government suddenly took some steps to make the crisis more serious. That is why by the completion of three years of his reign, peasant movements arose in different states of the country.

The Modi government, as soon as it came to power, adopted a policy of artificially controlling inflation (especially food inflation) to keep its urban supporter happy. Under this, state governments were prevented from paying bonuses on agricultural produce, MSP was not increased appropriately over time, and government control over the cost of agricultural inputs like fertilizers, pesticides, diesel etc. was also removed. Gaya. As a result, the prices of these commodities rose sharply, making farming a more unprofitable profession. Demonetisation, implemented in November 2016, made the crisis worse by abruptly stopping cash flow in rural areas.

Kishan andolan farmer protest

But the crisis was already brewing in the agriculture sector. The reason for this is the neo-liberal policies adopted in 1991. Under these policies, subsidies on agricultural inputs were continuously cut, the corporate sector was encouraged to produce and sell seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, due to which these items became expensive. Crop production for the international market was encouraged, which led to farmers taking loans and using patented inputs made in the corporate sector. On the other hand, due to crop failure or market fluctuations, farmers started falling into the trap of more and more debt. Incidents of suicide started increasing in them. All this was already happening.

With the Modi government sharply cutting investment in rural areas after coming to power, the problem began to sting the farmers and rural population more sharply. Because of that, the farmers went on the movement. Surat has become more scary now due to the lockdown during the Corona epidemic and the economy has almost come to a standstill. Recent natural disasters have also contributed to this. Inadequate support from the government on such occasions has created discontent among the aggrieved groups. In the early years of its rule, the ruling party was successful in keeping a large section of the peasantry away from communal passions, militant nationalism, and other emotional issues. But in the current situation, it has become difficult for such methods to remain effective.

Since the present peasant movement is born out of solid ground conditions, it has shown an unprecedented understanding of the power structure of the country and the basic character of this government. The way in which the monopoly capitalism has tightened the grip of the Indian power system and the inter-relationship between the crony-monopoly bourgeoisie and the ruling communal group has intensified in the last seven years, the best understanding has been shown by the peasant leadership. Rare elsewhere. This rare understanding is that crony-capitalism and communalism are reinforcing each other and serving their selfish interests at the cost of all other people’s groups. As a result of this the poverty and plight of the common people of the country is increasing.

So there has been an understanding among the farmers that the only way to stop this phenomenon is to hit the road and put up a decisive struggle. Due to this understanding and determination power, the farmers movement forced the government to repeal the disputed agricultural laws. It is such a success, which was difficult to even imagine earlier. This is, in fact, the first time in the last three decades—since the neoliberal policies were adopted in the country—that a government has been forced to withdraw a decision, policy, or law arising out of these policies.

Rakesh Tikait tractor march

In this connection, Ashok Dhawale, national president of the All India Kisan Sabha, has to be noted: ‘Most importantly, this struggle has led to the corrupt nexus of corporate communalism, the BJP-RSS-led government, and the Indian and foreign corporate lobbies’. – which symbolizes the Ambani-Adani relationship – has directly recognized and attacked them. That is why there has been an appeal for a nationwide boycott of Ambani and Adani products and services, although this program needs to be more comprehensive and intensified. In fact, this historic class struggle of the peasantry through its demands has directly attacked the neoliberal policies.

Against this background it can be said that this peasant movement is just a tableau. This is a reflection of the fact that the misery being created by the neo-liberal policies in various sectors of the economy can lead to more such mass movements. In this form the conditions of class struggle against monopoly-crony capitalism are taking concrete form in the country. For example, a section of small and medium grocers are also victims of monopoly-crony capitalism-communalism. The way Reliance Group’s Jio Mart is putting small grocery distributors and shopkeepers out of their business, sooner or later this section is bound to come down on the protest.

In fact, their protests have been seen in many places, but their target has not been the government and its policies, but the employees associated with Jio Mart. That is, these sections are dissatisfied and apprehensive about their deteriorating future, but they have not been able to identify who is responsible for this situation. Therefore, it is difficult to say anything about whether their movement like farmers will stand or not.

Whether or not such a struggle will really arise, will be determined by the emergence of forces to mobilize and bring the underprivileged classes to the cause of their plight. But the condition of this section and many other such sections gives a clear indication that the coming years may be full of turmoil in the country. What will be the result of that, it is difficult to say anything at this time. Since the peasants’ organizations were present and had taken the path of struggle in the bygone years, they were able to create a strong movement. Such political consciousness and organization is still lacking in other social classes.

Farmers are organized. They have a special kind of political consciousness. That is why, despite all the efforts and strict repression by the ruling Jamaat to defame him, his resolve to struggle till success has remained intact. For this reason, he did not become a victim of happiness due to partial success. There was a feeling among them that their basic problems would not be solved even after the withdrawal of the three agricultural laws. So they have decided to stick with the programs announced earlier for the protest.

In this form, it can be said that the expectations raised by the peasant movement for change in the present situation of the country are not only living up to them, but they have given more strength to those hopes. Between the past decades and the direction that the country has taken in recent years, it has become easy to understand that now the condition of common people will not improve by mere electoral swap of power. Nor will this country be able to move towards justice and prosperity just by changing the government. For this a fundamental change in economic policy and attitude is necessary. As the major political parties failed to present this change program, the farmers had to take to the streets.

If other sections also emulate the farmers, only then we can really move forward towards achieving this objective. At the moment, there are no clear indications of this happening. But often conflict is the result of concrete circumstances. After all, a large section of the farmers who remain the center of hope today were also in the grip of emotional issues of the ruling party. If they can get out of it, then sooner or later other sections will be forced to do the same, it can be expected. The special thing is that the example of the peasant movement will be in front of other groups. In this form, the peasant movement has become a guide.

Shivam Bangwal

Shivam Bangwal is an India-based Entrepreneur. He is the Founder of Successful Startups like Youthistaan, People News Chronicle, Hitchhike TV & Branding Panther. Shivam has done his Master's in Computer Applications.

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