Farmers across the country marked the 75th Independence Day of India on August 15, as Kisan Mazdoor Azaadi Sangram Diwas, responding to the call put out by Samyukt Kisan Morcha.
The day was marked with Tiranga Yatras by farmers and workers. Women farmers took a lead in different places in Haryana, Punjab, and elsewhere. At the various morchas of the farmers’ agitation including Dhansa, Palwal, Ghazipur, Shahjahanpur, Singhu and Tikri, there were special events to mark the day.
— Tractor2ਟਵਿੱਟਰ (@Tractor2twitr) August 16, 2021
The Azaadi Sangram Diwas was also marked at different toll plazas which have become pucca morchas of protestors over the past several months. Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh police did not allow the tiranga yatras of protestors in some locations to proceed.
Thousands of vehicles of farmers were taken out in tiranga yatras in different places, spanning hundreds of kilometers. In agricultural fields and chowks of urban centers, the tiranga was held high, with farmers and other ‘ordinary citizens’ taking a lead, even as they highlighted issues that need to be addressed for true freedom to be experienced by all citizens, especially by the most marginalised.
On the 17th of August, to mark the completion of 36 years of Narmada Bachao Andolan, “Narmada Kisan Mazdoor Jan Sansad” was organised in Badwani. Several SKM leaders took part in this event. The event also saw the participation of thousands of protestors from various places in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra in addition to villagers from numerous villages of Narmada valley.
Farmers’ Protest Continues to Intensify
To strengthen the ongoing protests, more protestors from distant locations have been joining the protest sites. Hundreds of more farmers from Tamil Nadu reached Singhu Border on August 15. A day later a contingent of farmers from Karnataka addressed the gathering at Ghazipur Border.
— Tractor2ਟਵਿੱਟਰ (@Tractor2twitr) August 17, 2021
To extend support and solidarity to the movement against three farm laws on Independence Day, sleep-out events were organised in different parts of the world by the Indian diaspora. It included Vancouver, London, San Jose (USA), Seattle, Toronto, Vienna, etc.
Along with that in London, at the well-known Westminster Bridge over River Thames, a huge banner was unfurled that demanded Prime Minister Modi’s resignation.
Nine Months of Farmers’ Movement: National Convention on August 26th
To mark the completion of nine months of historic, continuous peaceful protests by lakhs of protestors, Samyukt Kisan Morcha has decided to hold a national convention on August 26th, 2021.
The All-India Convention will witness the participation of representatives of hundreds of farmers’ organisations that have been part of the ongoing protests locally, regionally, and nationally.
Modi Government shifting goalposts as usual
Modi Government’s shifting goalposts were apparent yet again, in the PM’s Independence Day Speech. Camouflaging the utter failure of the government to protect farmers’ interests, and its outright anti-farmer moves, the PM’s emphasis made about small and marginal farmers, did not fool anybody.
Meanwhile, the announcement of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of revival and development of agricultural market committees reinforces the stand of protesting farmers and emphasises the need for regulated markets.
Later that day an MLA of JJP in Haryana, Jogi Ram Sihag, faced local black flag protests yesterday when he went into villages in Hisar. After escaping from one village (Sirsaud), the MLA met with a similar situation in a second village (Bichpadi) where he had to face the local farmers’ ire.