Farmers Begin Ten Days Strike From Today; No Supply Of Milk, Vegetables To Cities
Farmers across the country have decided to go on a strike for a period of 10 days from June 1 to 10. Instead of marching in protest they have decided to cut off the supply of milk, vegetables and fruits to all major cities.
They are asking citizens to visit the villages where the produce will be sold at a rate profitable to the farmers. This will ensure that the farmers receive their fair share of profit without giving it all away to the distributors. This decision is fueled by the increase in cultivation price of the food products.
Reason for strike
The rate of diesel has gone up adding to the overall cost as tractors run on diesel and irrigation pumps require diesel. The distributors buy produce from farmers at a pittance and sell it at high prices in upmarket city areas. All these situations are taking a toll on the livelihood of the farmer, reported The New Indian Express.
“There are two streams in the farmer movement today,” said Shiv Kumar “Kakkaji” Sharma, a convener of the Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh. He also said, “One is nationalist and working only for the farmers. The other stream is political organisations that are looking to use farmers as a vote bank,” reports Scroll. All India Kisan Sangharsh Samanvay Samiti, a federation of 193 organisations, has decided to stay away from the strike. The All India Kisan Sabha; a communist organization’s joining the strike is uncertain. The farmers have decided to organise a commemoration event at Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh on June 6 where six farmers were killed during protests last year. They have also declared a one-day hunger strike on June 8 followed by a Bharat Bandh on June 10 reported the Indian Express.
The strike will be affecting mostly North India as the farmer groups taking this call are primarily from North India. Last year there was confusion over which group would be negotiating on behalf of the farmers to meet their demands. This led to a premature call off of the protests without any significant achievements. To avoid this from repeating, the Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh has stated categorically that only their committee will take part in the negotiation and they would reject any other deals formed by separate organisations. The primary demands of the farmers are one-time loan waiver, increase in government support for cultivation cost and ensure a fair price for their produce.
Just a few months ago, 30,000 farmers in Maharashtra marched 180 km by foot to Mumbai to get the government’s attention to their woes. Following this 15000 farmers in Orissa too staged a similar protest.
The Logical Indian Take
Over 12000 farmers commit suicide in India each year as reported by TOI. Such protests are happening all over the country highlight the plight of the farmer. Left to nature’s whims, they are not financially protected in any way to bear losses caused by a failed season of crops. Farmers make up the highest population of India, and they put food on our plate hence we should make sure they are not forced to die of hunger.