Several farmer organisations in Karnataka came together to organise a Raitha Mahapanchayat (farmers’ mahapanchayat) in Shivamogga district, today on March 20, 2021. This large gathering of the farmers was organised to show support to and in solidarity with the ongoing farmers’ movement in the borders of Delhi.
Speaking to gaurilankeshnews.com a farmer from Shivamogga said, “Our protest is not a joke. It is the question of our livelihoods. We stand in full support with the farmers everywhere.” Mahapanchayat, according to this farmer is “A beginning of coming together of those who eat and those who struggle to get food on their plates.”
The Mahapanchayat was attended by an overwhelming numbers of people and farmers across the state.
Dr. Darshan Pal, a farmer leader addressed this gathering and said, “Farmers protesting on Delhi borders want to know that farmers of the southern states are standing with them. This large gathering shows that all of you are with them.” Dr. Pal also explained how the ongoing movement was built. Kodihalli Chandrashekhar, a leader of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) addressed the gathering and submitted to Dr. Pal, Rakesh Tikait and Yudhvir Singh that the Chief Minister of Karnataka, B S Yeddyurappa has ammended the farm laws in the state and the farmers are protesting against these ammendments along with the farm laws of central government.
“All of these laws and ammendments were brought in through ordinances as though they don’t impact anyone. These laws affects sixty percent of the population,” said Chukki Najundaswamy, a leader of KRRS. Chukki also urged the farmers to keep their struggle going and prevent the attempts to privatise agriculture.
Madhu Bangarappa, a politician spoke at the occasion and assured it to all the farmers at the borders that people of Karnataka are with them.
Yudhvir Singh, another farmer leader also spoke from the stage. Singh stated that none of the efforts of the government to cripple the farmers’ movement was successful. He also remembered the 270 martyred farmers and criticised the Narendra Modi government for not conversing with the farmers. The veteran farmer leader cautioned the people of Karnataka about the ‘pro-corporation’ stance of the Modi government.
This is not a movement of Punjab or Haryana but a movement of farmers from Kashmir to Kanyakumari – Yadhuvir Singh
Singh also observed that the government is not concerned with the governance but is communalising.
The Mahapanchayat concluded with veteran farmer leader and politician Rakesh Tikait speaking from the speach. Tikait said, ‘With the way in which this government is selling everything, there is no time for farmers to keep waiting. Bangalore and other cities must become Delhi. Bangalore borders should be occupied by the common people. This is the only way to fight.’ Explaining the consequences of privatisation, he said, ‘The country would be openly sold to large corporations. The responsibilty of not letting this happen rests with everyone of us.’
Tikait gave a call for all the young farmers to take up farming and not give in to the forces that ‘are pushing the youth into unemployment.’ He also said that ‘this government is attacking everyone. They are against everyone who stand for truth. One day, they might pass laws to silence the media and social media.’ Tikait observed that ‘none of these efforts of the government would be entertained. The movement will go on till the farm laws are rolled back.’