Make the Bharat Bandh on 27 September 2021 a Success: Respond to the Appeal by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha

26 September 2021: National Alliance of People’s Movements calls all state- and national- level member organizations, struggles and allies to extend full support and solidarity to the Bharat Bandh announced by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha on 27 September 2021. NAPM has always been participating in the movements. In the last 10 months, as a part of the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, we have taken part in the historic struggle against the three anti-people farm laws. The NAPM tent at the Ghazipur Border has been running in solidarity with the protests, with participation from NAPM members involved in farmers’ and other struggles across different states.

The aim and implications of these farm laws brought in by the Bharatiya Janta Party-run Union Government has become crystal clear to the entire country over the past 10 months of the farmers’ protests: push the farmers towards poverty and empower the big corporates and crony capitalists. Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and many other states have been waiting for justice on the borders of Delhi for close to a year now. Their demands echo from all corners of the country. But these voices seem to fall on deaf ears even as more than 600 farmers lost their lives to the dictatorial attitude of the Central Government, which has refused to budge.

Not only did the Union Government get the anti-farmer Farm Acts passed in both Houses of the Parliament without discussion, but even the President of India assented to the same. The three Acts are – the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance, Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. Farmers have stood in opposition to these Acts, through rain and cold and heat on the borders of Delhi for almost a year now. But this is not just a struggle of the markers, limited to the villages and farms. It is a fight for all of us. NAPM stands in solidarity with all the local and national farmers’ organisations, collectives and movements on 27th September, to protest this tyranny.

It is very clear to the farmers that these laws will replace the current Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime and the Mandi system, both of which require strengthening and not dilution. These laws would enable corporates to buy out produce at abysmally low prices, hoard them, and resell at a high price thereby threatening not only the rural economy but also the food security of the country. The farmers will not be able to take legal action against such practices, and they will be left at the mercy of profit mongering big corporates and capitalists.

The last round of talks between the Modi Government and Farmers’ Struggle leaders were held in January, about nine months ago. Even then, the Government kept backing out of any promises, and delegitimised the demands of the farmers. The meetings were filled with fake promises to mislead the farmers and the nation. The writing on the wall is: the BJP government is not working towards empowering the farmers, but to feed the greed of the big corporates and capitalists, helping them to squeeze profits and legalising their loot. It is almost a year since the farmer’s protests have started, but the anti-farmer, anti-labour, anti-people Modi government has accepted not even one of the demands made by the farmers. It is now time to wake up this dictatorial Government on 27th September 2021 with a Bharat Bandh.

We are seeing Mahapanchayats, Panchayats, and Sabhas being organised in every state in support of the farmers’ struggles. The role of women farmers in these has been unparalleled. Thesheer strength of the recent Mahapanchayats like the one in Muzaffarnagar, which brought together farmers and common people, is giving the Government sleepless nights. Both the Central Government and the BJP-backed states are trying their best to crush the farmers’ struggle by filing false cases against the protestors and throwing people in jail. But none of this has crushed the spirit of the farmers. On 27th September, during the Bharat Bandh, the country will see the renewed vigour of the farmers’ struggle. National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) assures full participation and solidarity to this Bharat Bandh and joins the demands to:

1. Repeal the three anti-farmer laws.

2. Withdraw the Electricity Bill (2020).

3. Ensure MSP for various agricultural products.

4. Provide 80 % subsidy for agricultural implements.

5. Stop the privatisation of education, health, electricity, railways and transport.

6. Reduce the commercialisation and increasing costs of diesel, petrol and cooking gas and regulate prices of all essential commodities.

7. Guarantee employment for the students and youth of the country.

8. Free the country from the monopoly of big businesses and multinational companies. 

9. End control of corporate houses on the nation’s policy and resources. 

10. Stop the Assault on the Constitution 

NAPM India