Today Samyukt Kisan Morcha had given call to mark 10 long months of peaceful protests with rightful demands from the annadaatas of the country. It was on this day that 3 anti-farmer, pro-corporate laws were given President’s Assent last year.
Spontaneous participation from various sections of society was witnessed in most places. The Bandh was marked peacefully, without a single untoward incident reported from anywhere, from more than 23 states of India.
In Punjab alone, there were more than 500 locations in which people gathered to express their support to the Bandh, and their participation in the farmers’ movement. Similarly, the Bandh witnessed numerous non-farmer associations stand in solidarity with farmers, and also raise their own issues. Lakhs of citizens took part in the Bandh events today.
SKM congratulates and compliments citizens of India who wholeheartedly and peacefully made today’s Bharat Bandh a huge success, and also extends its appreciation to some state governments, many fraternal and other organisations and numerous political parties that have extended their support.
Reports have come in from hundreds of locations from Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Pondicherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal about the Bandh, and numerous events to accompany the same.
Trade unions were firmly with the farmers, showcasing the unity of farmers and workers once again. Various trader, merchant and transporter associations, student and youth organisations, women’s organisations, taxi and auto unions, teachers’ and lawyers’ unions, journalists’ unions, writers and artists and other progressive groups were firmly with the farmers of the country in this Bandh.
Life came to a near standstill in several states like Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, Jharkhand and Bihar. Reports indicate that in several parts of southern Assam, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, this was the situation.
Scores of protests marked the day in states like Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
In Jaipur and Bangalore, capital cities of Rajasthan and Karnataka, tens of thousands of protestors joined protest rallies taken out in the cities. The overall mood across the country was anger and frustration with BJP-RSS policies that the Modi Government is enforcing, curbing basic freedoms and democracy, and putting most citizens on the path of survival struggle.
“It is patently clear that the people of India tired of Modi Government’s adamant, unreasonable and egoistic stand on protesting farmers’ legitimate demands, and anti-people policies in numerous sectors”, said SKM.
The response to this Bandh call was more widespread than before. Nearly all Opposition political parties had extended unconditional support to the Bandh and were in fact keen on not being left out.
There were support events by Indian diaspora in other continents too. One of the unifying forces that initially brought together various farmer unions was a Bharat Bandh called on September 25th 2020, after the 3 anti-farmer statutes were passed by the Parliament and before the Presidential assent on the same.
There was a pan-India mobilisation around the same time last year. Later on, on December 8th 2020 during the various rounds of talks with the Government, there was one more Bandh call put out by SKM. After talks broke down completely in late January 2021, there was a Bandh call again by SKM on March 26th 2021, followed by today’s Bharat Bandh.