Indian farmers observe 'black day' to mark six months of protest against farm laws

 Indian farmers vows to continue the struggle till victory

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (An alliance of farmers organisations) and trade unions held black flag demonstrations across the country as the farmers’ protests at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur on Delhi’s borders completed six months on Wednesday.

The protesting also celebrated Buddha Poornima on Wednesday. Leaders of the SKM claimed that they got support of lakhs of citizens for resisting the policies of the Narendra Modi government.

The SKM said in a statement that the scale and style of the protests were unprecedented and they will continue it till the Centre withdraws the three farm reform laws and enact a law for remunerative support prices for crops.

“The day was marked as a Black Day for Farmers, with lakhs (hundreds of thousands) of citizens expressing their resistance against the government in numerous ways including in social media. Multiple hashtags in support of the movement trended from the morning itself in social media platforms,” the SKM claimed.

At the protest sites, the farmers burned the effigies of the Modi and hoisted black flags on trolleys and tents. “Lakhs of Indians responded to the call by SKM, they wore black, hoisted black flags at their homes and on vehicles and assembled in small groups to burn effigies of the BJP government,” they said.

The statement added that even though the farmers’ agitation completed six months with many hardships including the martyrdom of more than 470 protesting farmers so far, they are prepared to continue for longer and the determination and resolve of the farmers remains strong and firm.

 “Government of India can choose to remain unwise in stretching this longer without resolving the demands of the farmers, but this would be at its own loss, and at the expense of BJP’s support base,” the SKM said.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the protesting farmers raising black flags and shouting slogans of “we will fight, we will win” carried out marches in several cities and villages in Punjab and Haryana, and at Delhi’s borders.

The farmers observed ‘black day’ on Wednesday to mark six months of their protests against the Centre’s three farm laws in response to the Samyukta Kisan Morcha’s (SKM) call for a nationwide strike.

"If the government wants us to end our protest, then it should listen to us and take back the draconian laws, because we are not going anywhere unless our demands are met," a farmer leader told news agency PTI.

In tune with the same, the farmers at Delhi’s Ghazipur and Singhu borders converted tents into permanent structures, built long stretches of bamboo huts under flyovers and stocked up essential commodities to ensure they do not face any hindrance during the protests.

Similar was the scene in several villages of Punjab and Haryana where the farmers were seen wearing black turbans as they continued their protests demanding that the three laws be repealed by the Centre.

Several opposition parties, including the Congress, Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), JD-S), NCP, Shiv Sena, TMC, DMK, JMM, JKPA, RJD, CPI, CPI-M and Samajwadi Party have extended their support to the farmers.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at three Delhi border points since November last year, demanding the three farm laws - Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, - passed last year by the Centre be repealed.

So far, 11 rounds of talks between 40 farm leaders and the government have failed to break the deadlock over the three laws. The last round was on January 22. There have been no talks between the two sides since January 26 when the farmers' tractor rally in the national capital turned violent.

                                                                  Khalid Bhatti

No comments

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Powered by Blogger.