Successive Central governments have witnessed the destruction of the rural India and the unchecked destitution of farmers and yet little has been done to alleviate their misery. They have witnessed the deepening misery of the dispossession in country side but left the tillers of soil to ‘free to choose’ to die. Over 3 lakh farmers have committed suicide in India between 1995 and 2015, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Even this horrendous figure is an underestimate, with suicides in many groups like women, dalit and tribal farmers being seriously undercounted. Yet, the NCRB was the only body giving us a nationwide picture, however flawed, of the number of farmers taking their own lives each year. Now situation has deteriorated to such an extent that since 2015, the NCRB has not published farmer suicide data at all.
Not only that this Government have crossed the pace of all previous governments to bring agriculture under corporate control. Amending the existing laws on land acquisition, water resources, seed, fertilizer, pesticides and food processing, the government is in an overdrive to usher in contract farming and encourage organized retail. This is exactly as per the advice of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as well as the international financial institutes.
At this backdrop All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), representing almost 200 organisations has organised a Kisan Mukti March to Delhi for 2 days from 29th to 30th of November,2018. The main demand of this March is to demand a special Parliamentary Session on farmer's issues. Demand for a special Parliamentary session emerges after numerous protests, petitions, pleadings by distressed farmers, labourers, forest communities, fisher folk and the foot soldiers of our country’s literacy and health care programmes – Anganwadi, Accredited Social Health Activists and Auxiliary Nurse Midwife workers, have failed to garner the attention of successive governments to the agrarian crisis.
The Farmers’ Freedom from Indebtedness Bill, 2018, and The Farmers’ Right to Guaranteed Remunerative Minimum Support Prices for Agricultural Commodities Bill, 2018, have already been placed before Parliament and are awaiting discussion. Their adoption should also form an important part of the special Parliament session.
SFI extends its complete support and solidarity with the Kisan March, and pledge to be part of every future struggle get society free of exploitation.
VP Sanu (President) Mayukh Biswas (General Secretary)