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The farmers in India have won

By Rick Majumdar

The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) led by Narendra Modi was forced to admit defeat at the hands of the protesting farmers, by repealing the three oppressive laws.

The farmer protests were sparked by these three oppressive bills that were introduced under false promises. One claimed to give farmers more leeway to sell crops outside the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee without paying the necessary taxes; that bill’s official name is “The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020.” The second, called “The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020” allows private/corporate companies to invest in farming. The third, the “Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020” deregulates production, storage and movement of essential commodities. On the surface some aspects of these bills seemed to benefit farmers, but ultimately the legislation promoted corporate financial entities into the agricultural sector will take away people’s land and livelihoods.

The farmers’ protests started early in 2020 and faced major repression from the BJP government. Protesters were beaten and subjected to water cannons and left bloodied. The victory of the farmers came at a huge price. 700 protesting farmers from all over India were killed by the police, hired goons and state agents while peacefully demonstrating. The Modi government is solely responsible in this regard. The BJP would lay down barbed wire near the Delhi border to discourage protesters to drive into the city. They would also dig trenches to entrap farmers protesting on tractors. They would use the corporate media to malign the farmers’ protest and jail journalists reporting on the conditions of the protesters.

Though, despite this victory, there are concerns which linger on, regarding improving the conditions for the farmers. The fundamental demand of this historic farmers’ struggle was a Central Act to guarantee Minimum Support Price (MSP) to all crops of all farmers at one-and-a-half times the comprehensive cost of production (C2+50%) which remains unaddressed. The failure to address this demand aggravated the agrarian crisis led to the suicide of over 400,000 farmers in the last 25 years, of whom around one-fourth have ended their lives in the last seven years of the Modi-led BJP regime.

This was the second defeat for the BJP government at the hands of United Kisan movement (United Farmers Movement). Earlier, they were forced to put on hold the Land Acquisition Ordinance that allowed the government to acquire private land.

Prime Minister Modi's announcement rang the victory bell for the farmers. The efforts from the government's side to pursue neoliberal policies in corporatizing the farming sector failed.

The All India Kisan Sabha, the peasants wing of the Communist Party of India, Marxist were heavily involved in organizing the peasant farmers and congratulated the farmers on their massive earth-shattering victory. The All India Kisan Sabha are part of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, a coalition of over 40 farmers unions that were involved in organizing and carrying out protests throughout India. The Samyukta Morcha celebrated jointly celebrated the victory of the farmers and congratulated their tireless efforts as well.

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