Kisan March to Delhi on 29th and 30th November
For Freedom from Indebtedness!
For Profitable MSP!
To Save Agriculture and Peasants from Corporate Take-Over!
Those Who Feed the Nation Are Coming to Delhi
Join the Peasants of the Country when they March to Parliament on the 29th and 30th November
Expose Modi Government’s Farce Claims of Increase in MSP!
Peasants Suicide Continue to Increase Instead of the Government’s Data Fraud and Farce Claims!
Cultivation Further Pushed to Loss Making Occupation Under Modi Government!
Before 2014 election, the BJP promised complete loan waiver for farmers and 50% profit over comprehensive cost of farming. In a country reeling under agrarian distress and farmers’ suicides, these poll promises were necessary to get a mandate. But after 5 years of Modi government, the farmers of the country have been further pushed to distress. Along with betrayal in policies, the Modi government has time again lied to the farmers, mocked and insulted them.
Betrayal on the Promise of Complete Loan Waiver, Farmers being Pushed to Further Indebtedness:
In the last four years, the agrarian crisis in the country has only deepened causing massive distress for farmers. We have seen how farmers have been shot at in Mandsaur, MP for demanding loan waiver. Intermittent declarations of loan waiver here and there are made for making headlines without any real relief to the farmers.
While one time loan waiver is a must as an urgent step, we must ask why are the farmers forced to take loan?
Why has the input costs for farming increased so much? Because of pro-corporate design of the agricultural policies by the government, dependence of farming on chemical pesticide and fertilizer have increased. The pricing of these inputs are designed to profit the corporate rather than benefitting the farmers.
The GST imposed by Modi government and the continuous increase in petrol prices have further increased cost of input in farming.
Agricultural Loans Siphoned Off by Corporates:
The loan issued by the government banks or credit institutions do not reach the farmers. In an RTI reply, the RBI has said that Rs 58561 crores were issued to only 615 accounts in agricultural loans by the government banks in 2016. On an average, these 615 accounts have received Rs 95 crores as agricultural loans (The Wire, Sep, 2018). These are not farmers getting these loans, these are agribusiness corporate such the Relaince Fresh getting these loans in the name of farmers.
It is the small and marginal farmers that constitute the majority of the farmers’ community that is majorly deprived of institutional loans and thus any loan waiver.
Farmer’s Suicide Continues; And the Government is Busy Fudging Data:
The indebted farmers facing the agrarian distress in the country are forced to commit suicide in different parts of the country. More than 3 lakh farmers have committed suicide from 1995 to 2015 according to NCRB data. Under Modi rule we have seen how farmers from Tamil Nadu held protest in the Parliament Street with human skeletons. The reality of farmers’ suicide has become worse.
Rather than taking steps to relieve the farmers from the situation, the Modi government has started forging data on suicides. For the last four years final numbers of farmers’ suicide has not been released by the NCRB. Since 2014, the method of counting farmers suicide in NCRB has been changed by the Modi government. By forging data the Modi government wants to fool the people of the country on the reality of farmers’ suicide.
Betrayal on Promise of 50% Profit over Comprehensive Cost of Farming:
Before the 2014 election, the BJP promised an increase in Minimum Support Price of agricultural produce so that farmers get 50% profit over the comprehensive cost of farming. In reality for first four years since its tenure the hike in MSP by Modi government was negligible. In July this year, the government announced another hike which again by no means ensure 50% over comprehensive cost of farming. This hike is also based on the old formula of counting cost based on A2+FL as opposed to what the Swaminathan Commission recommended and the farmers have been demanding. The farmers are demanding 50% profit over C2 (Cost that includes land rent along with other costs). But the Modi government has not only betrayed on that, it has been lying to the media falsely claiming historic hike in MSP.
The Fraud in the Name of Crop Insurance- the Failed PMFBY:
Another strategy to loot the farmers by the Modi government is the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) meant for crop insurance. In January 2016, the government launched the PMFBY with the much hyped claim of ‘bring about a major transformation in the life of farmers’.
In reality, it is the insurance companies and not the farmers who have benefited from the scheme. In the last two years premiums paid to insurance companies have increased by 350% and they have gained super normal profit. Premium companies have collected a premium of Rs 47, 408 crores and have paid the farmers a total claim of Rs 31, 613 crores. In four BJP ruled states 84 lakh farmers have come out of the scheme in one year.
Modi government’s policy assault such as the demonetization and GST has hit the farmers cruelly. After demonetisation, it became extremely difficult for the farmers to sell their crop. The government that till now shamelessly boasts of demonetisation as a great step has not offered the farmers any compensation for the loss they suffered. The input cost has increased due to imposition of GST. These policy assaults have only added to the crisis that the government policies have imposed on agriculture.
The aggressive terror of Gau Rakshaks and restrictions imposed on cattle trading has also adversely impacted the farmers. If Pehlu Khan and several others are killed in the country because of communal venom spread in the name of Gau Raksha under BJP rule, farmers are facing loss due to restriction in cattle trading. The classical BJP style of communal divide to divert attention from its betrayal is talking toll on life and livelihood of farmers.
Crackdown on Protests and Insult of the farmers Is the Government’s Response:
The Modi government rather than providing relief to the farmers has been unleashing crackdown on farmers for demanding poll promises to be fulfilled. Last year in Mandasaur, MP, five farmers were shot dead during a farmers protest. In October, this year thousands of farmers marching towards Delhi were stopped at border and attacked with tear gas and water cannon.
After Mandsaur firing on farmers, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh answered to questions regarding the firing by saying ‘Yoga Kijiye (Do Yoga). Venkaiah Naidu, BJP leader and presently the Vice-President of India commented while holding office Union Urban Development Ministry in 2017 said that ‘Loan waivers have become a fashion now’. Several other BJP leaders and ministers and leaders have mocked the farmers who are facing the agrarian distress.
What is needed today is not only complete loan waiver for farmers, but also withdrawal of policies that force the farmers in cycle of indebtedness.
Along with an increase in MSP calculated based on c2+50% profit, political will is needed to ensure timely procurement of the crops so that the farmers are not left to the mercy of market fluctuations.
Control of input prices and increased agricultural subsidy is an urgent need.
Farming needs to be freed from corporate take-over. Only then ecologically sustainable agriculture is possible. It is needed to free farmers from burden of increased input cost and ending siphoning of credit and profit being transferred to corporate.
Let us march with our farmers as they come to Delhi on 29th and 30th November.