Thousands Of Farmers Gather In Delhi For Freedom From Debt
November 20th, 2017
The All India Kisan Sangharsh Committee (AIKSCC) has organised a two-day protest from November 20 on Parliament Street, Delhi. Thousands of farmers from all over the country have gathered to make their voices heard. Activists such as Yogendra Yadav, Kavitha Kuruganti, Avik Saha, Medha Patkar are part of the protest.
How they protested?
The protest started with everybody gathered observed a minute silence for the 3,00,000 farmers who committed suicide owing to debt. Women farmers whose relative committed suicide have also come to join the protest.
— Yogendra Yadav (@_YogendraYadav) November 20, 2017
Later, 10,000 farmers along with prominent figures marched from Ramleela Maidan to Sansad Marg with a simple demand; they want a better price for their produce and complete riddance from debt. After they completed the march, they conducted ‘Kisan Mukti Sansad’, a mock parliament session with 543 women farmers on Parliament Street.
Their demands are 50% profit margin over the cost of production and implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations. They also demand immediate loan waiver and an institutional method that would directly address farmers’ ongoing debt issue. According to the AIKSCC, increase in the price of fuel, fertilisers and reducing government subsidies can be the reason for rising crop loan debts and farmer’s suicide. Medha Patkar presided over the women’s parliament.
— Swaraj India (@_SwarajIndia) November 20, 2017
Before the protest
On November 13, around 60 farmers under Swaraj India gathered in front of Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh’s house. They wanted to remind him PM Modi’s 2014 promise of 50% margin on the cost of production.
— Elamparithy (@Parithykalai) November 13, 2017
A Twitter campaign with #KisanKiLoot hashtag was started on social media by the group to draw the attention of Indian netizens. Again on November 15, they focused on women farmers, who are often neglected. Many women gathered in front of the Ministry of Agriculture, with baskets of produce and met the Chairperson of Ministry of Agriculture and met the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and demand a resolution on the Minimal Support Price (MSP) issue.
#KisanKiLoot was trending on number one in India on Twitter. Many people shared their concern and worries regarding the increasing farmer’s suicide. Another hashtag that made the round was #IndebtedToFarmers.
— kavitha kuruganti (@kkuruganti) November 14, 2017
If you are waking up to #KisanKiLoot that is trending on twitter right now, here is a quick summary. It is a crisis that needs urgent attention from the powers that be, before it is too late! pic.twitter.com/dk0395qrwa
— Call me V. (@polvora_plot) November 14, 2017
Many celebrities, journalists and individuals tweeted their support for the farmers with the hashtag, showing their gratitude to the hands of the people that feed the country.
Truly indebted to the farmers of India. Strengthen their voice.
விவசாயிகளுக்கு கடன் படாதவர் யார்? அவர்கள் குரல் வலுப்பெறச் செய்யுங்கள். pic.twitter.com/Np7Jn2sd7N
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) November 16, 2017
Will there be a response?
In the last one year, farmers have been seen protesting all around the country. Tamil Nadu farmers under the leadership of Ayyakannu protested in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar for months. Madhya Pradesh saw violent clashes between farmers and police. The farmers threw milk, vegetables on the road to highlight the shortage of the products in the state. With this protest, farmers from all around the country hope to make their plights addressed and resolved. We are yet to see if the government acknowledges the protest or not.