Tribal Organizations in the Khunti District of Jharkhand organised a Maha Dharna in the District Headquarters on January 28. The Dharna was lead by Social Activist Dayamani Barla.
The social activist said that the introduction of these farm laws would lead to the destruction of the traditional farming method. The onset of corporates in farming would also lead to slow but sure handover of the land of small peasants, leading to increasing unemployment in the peasantry.
The proportion of displaced and landless families in Jharkhand is very high. Along with this there are 56 lakh BPL families, which could see a severe shortage of food security.
These laws will not only destroy the prospects of small businesses, but will also leave the working class and common people no other choice but to buy food at much higher prices. Barla has resolved that the introduction of corporates into the agricultural sector will not be allowed in Jharkhand. It is necessary to protect the forest land, wetlands, hills and rivers along with other natural heritage of the Adivasis in order to think about doubling the farmers’ wages.
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While addressing the Mahadharna the agricultural minister of Jharkhand Badal Patralekh said that it is due to their consideration of the small farmers that the debt of every farmer earning below Rs. 50000 was forgiven by the government. He also said that he dearly understood the pain of farmers at Singhu Border while he was with them for 2 days. The Jharkhand Government supports the struggle of Farmers of Jharkhand against these laws. He assured the farmers that they ‘will stand with them till their last breath, and firmly are in support of the movement’.
The people participating in the Mahadharna firmly believe that these laws will destroy the traditional farming practices of Adivasis here, as well as natural fertilisers, seeds and crops.
Farmers according to their land specifications and wish choose to sow Goda, Mahua, Badam, Shakarkand, Chawra and many other such crops. Around their field they sow traditional vegetables according to the seasons, such as Chakod, Silairi and Koynar. They receive good prices for these crops, and these are nutritious too. The news laws will take all these away.
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The farmers have addressed a list of demands to the Governor, President and Prime Minister and presented them to the Deputy Commissioner of the District. The key demands are the following:
- The three laws have to be withdrawn immediately.
- The Minimum Support Price (MSP) to be decided for vegetables too, along with Grains.
- Non-Mazrua common and Non-mazrua special land which has been included in the land bank, be withdrawn immediately.
- Water from the region’s all sources be supplied for Lift Irrigation processes through Pipe Lines.
- The obfuscation in Land Documents and frauds related to Land be ended immediately.
- The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution to be strictly enforced.
- Landless farmers to be provided 5 Acre of farming land each.
- The Bharatmala Sadak Pariyojana, which passes through Khunti District and is making farmers landless be withdrawn immediately.
The article was orininally published in Workers Unity, and has been subsequently translated by Ananya Kumar