Following the footsteps of the Yogi Adityanath’s government’s Uttar Pradesh Goonda Control (Amendment) Bill, 2021, Manohar Lal Khattar government of Haryana on March 19, 2021, passed ‘The Recovery of Damages to Property during Disturbance to Public Order Bill, 2021.’ The Bill provides for recovery of damages to properties caused by persons during agitations, including riots and violent disorder. According to a report in live mint, Khattar clarified that this bill had nothing to do with the ongoing farmers’ movement. He reportedly said that it is necessary to instill fear in the minds of those who damage property. Samyukta Kisan Morcha has opposed and condemned this law introduced by the Khattar government. The farmers’ organisation demands its immediate withdrawal.
Such efforts of the governments to intimidate farmers have been strongly condemned across the country.
Mahapanchayats according to SKM are an answer to efforts of the government(s) to silence the farmers. The farmers’ organisation opines that the overwhelming response to these large gatherings of the farmers, ensures the success of the Bharat Bandh that is to be observed on March 26, 2021. SKM has noted that this bandh would be observed even in Delhi from 6 am to 6 pm and all the services except the emergency services, will be suspended during the bandh.
After the mahapanchayat at Shivamogga in Karnataka, the leaders of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha met with the farmers leaders at several places on March 21, 2021 and discussed strategies to intensify this movement in South India. Issues related to strengthening the mandi system were discussed in these meetings.
Mahapanchayats being organised across the country have been seeing an overwhelming response from the farmers and others.
On March 21, 2021, a mahapanchayat of SKM was organized in Ramnagar Uttarakhand. Prominent speakers were Rajinder Singh of Kirti Kisan Union, Mr Jagtar Bajwa from Bajpur, Tejendra Singh Virk of Tarai Kisan Sangthan and Dr Ashish Mittal, General Secretary of All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha and others. The initiative of organizing this panchayat was taken by Samajwadi People Forum and other organizations. Farmer leaders said that so called development projects may not have reached the forests and tribals, but the farmers’ movement has reached nooks and corners.
A Rachhabanda (Mahapanchayat) held on March 21 at Velidanda village, District Suryapet in Telangana. Thousands of farmers participated in the Mahapanchayat organized in Gutaiya also. The Kisan Adhikar Yatra was welcomed in the Jamuna Posi region of Odisha. The yatra which is being taken out in Odisha is getting huge support at the regional level, noted SKM.
A Kisan Mahapanchayat was organised by All India Kisan Khet Mazdoor Sangathan in Muzaffarpur. While addressing the Kisan Mahapanchayat held at Science College, Muzaffarpur, President Satyawan said that the three agricultural laws and the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 are made for the acquisition of land by corporate houses. He made an appeal for making the Bharat Bandh a success. Thousands of farmers took part in the Mahapanchayat on hundreds of tractors which included a large number of women and farm labourers.
Samyukta Kisan Morcha has strongly condemned the immediate implementation of the Essential Commodities Amendment Act (ECAA) by the Parliamentary Committee. It is insensitive to the food security of poor people and the demand to increase the procurement of farmers’ crops. SKM demands that the ECAA and two other laws should be repealed immediately. We appeal to the farmers, labourers and common citizens to intensify their struggle for the repeal of three laws and legal right of the MSP.
On March 23, 2021 on the Martyrdom Day of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, there will be youth conferences at the protest sites around Delhi, in which youth are joining from all over the country. The future of these youth, born into the farming families and families of labourers, is now at stake. Young women and men are already playing an important role in this farmers movement. Following the thoughts of Bhagat Singh, the youth are coming to fight the battle for the farmers-labourers of the country on March 23 at Delhi borders.