Farmers in India continue to fight

Farmers at the Ghazipur border with Delhi take part in the country-wide Black Day Protests, May 26, 2021. At many protests, effigies representing the Modi government are burned.

Farmers and workers throughout India are observing Black Day to mark six months of encampments surrounding Delhi and the 7th year of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government that has enacted many anti-worker, anti-people and anti-social laws and mercilessly attacked the rights of the people. Twelve opposition parties and Indian residents abroad are also supporting the call of the farmers and workers to withdraw the anti-farm laws.

Demonstrations, webinars, teach-ins and other manifestations are being held across the world. Some young people are holding online discussions with U.S. farmers who have suffered and lost their lands as a result of anti-farmer laws similar to the ones in India.

“Farmers will win, not Modi.”

Farmers also celebrated the 125th anniversary of the birth of Kartar Singh Sarabha, one of the founding leaders of the Ghadar Party. All day speakers, artists and singers paid tribute to Sarabha who was hanged by the British at the young age of 19. He was a poet, thinker and a revolutionary who had gone to study in California. His couplet has become a household verse in Punjab.

Sewa Desh Di Jindridye Badi Aukhi, Galan Karniyan Bahut Sukhaliyan Ne
Jinhan Desh Sewa Vich Pair Paya, Unhan Lakh Musibtan Jhalniyan Ne

(Serving the motherland is hard, talk is cheap
Those who are marching on this path have to endure many hardships)

May 24, 2021 also marks the 54th anniversary of the historic uprising in Naxalbari, Bengal. Naxalbari inspired toilers and oppressed people all across South Asia and gave rise to revolutionary parties in many countries. The Naxalbari uprising will always have a place of honour amongst farmers, toilers and oppressed people.

Callousness and the criminal nature of the rulers of India is on full display in Uttar Pradesh (UP), the largest state in India. The teachers’ union has filed an affidavit in the court affirming that 1,621 teachers have died in UP due to COVID-19 because they were forced to work as election officials during village council elections. The government has claimed that only six teachers have died. All the reports indicate that the government is fudging the numbers of how many people have fallen sick or have died.

The callousness of the Indian government can also be seen in its vaccine policy or lack thereof. Reports point out: “India never paid for the clinical development of vaccines, nor did it place advance bulk orders, preferring instead to make relatively small purchases for priority groups in its vaccination program.” In other words, the government had no plans to protect people from the pandemic. The masses of people have been left to fend for themselves and, then, they are in turn attacked for resorting to their own devices.

It has been reported that the leaders of BJP are not being allowed to enter villages in Haryana. A BJP MLA was forced to leave when he tried to go to a village despite being warned by the villagers not to enter. In Punjab similar sentiments are seething.

While the Indian economy and conditions of the vast majority of people are in the doldrums, data released by Bloomberg confirms that Adani and Ambani have accumulated tremendous wealth and have emerged on top as the richest people in Asia. For instance, in 2020, Adani made $2,008,333 every hour. Adani started his company in 1988 with $7,000. Ambani has made much more in the past one year. According to one estimate he made 900 billion rupees per hour. It reveals that the Indian state is an instrument of a tiny number of monopolists who are handed over all the resources of the country and the fruits of the toil of its population. In the last 75 years the rich have grown exponentially richer and the poor have grown exponentially poorer and their numbers have also grown exponentially. This has taken place whether the signboard of the governments has been socialism, secularism, Hindutva and Atamnirbhar Bharat because India perpetuates the system and constitutional order imposed by the British. It is high time India breaks with the past.

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Filed under Agriculture, Food & Farmers, Asia

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