India seems to be facing a serious agrarian crisis at the moment. The 29th of November witnessed the coming together of almost 100,000 farmers from about 200 farmers’ organizations spread all across the country. They had been mobilized under the leadership of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) to hold the Kisan Mukti March that aimed to gherao the parliament on the 30th of November.
According to media reports, this happens to be the 4th farmer protest in the nation’s capital in the last 8 months. Last time around, when the farmers decided to march on the nation’s capital, they were met with severe resistance by the police. What happened in November was a completely different story. The protesters were granted permission to hold their march while the police kept the denizens of the state constantly updated about the traffic conditions of the city.
The farmers of the country have been facing hardships due to the weather. They have not been able to grow a substantial amount of produce for a long time. The lack of proper financial assistance has led many of them to commit suicide. The farmers have been living under hostile conditions for a long time. The escalation of the same has led them to express their grievances to the central government.
Amid all the upheaval, there comes about heart-warming stories of love and companionship that color the protests. An article by Rohit Kumar published in The Wire enumerates his experience at the Kisan March. Hundreds and thousands of farmers had been marching from all over India. Many of them had been marching on empty stomachs. The writer of the aforementioned article took it upon himself to distribute food and water among the protesters. He was able to do so with a little help from his friends and acquaintances. (The link to the article is: https://thewire.in/agriculture/farmer-march-delhi-experience)
At the end of the day, he was completely won over by the perseverance and humility of the farmers. Never for once did they grab or push each other to get to the food which was not enough to provide for a hundred thousand people. Some of them broke down and recounted their tales of tragedy. Every person present became a part in the saga of human solidarity.
The farmers demanded that a special session of Parliament be convened to address the threat that the agrarian sector of the country is facing at present. They have asked for the implementation of the MS Swaminathan Commission report, increased minimum support prices, and the sanctioning of the Farmers’ Freedom from Indebtedness Bill, 2018. They have also asked for the passing of Farmers’ Right to Guaranteed Remunerative Minimum Support Prices for Agricultural Commodities Bill, 2018.
The leaders of the Opposition united to participate in the rally. There were many notable politicians present such as Sitaram Yechury from the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, and Congress president Rahul Gandhi. So were Sharad Pawar, the youth leader Kanhaiya Kumar, and social activist Jignesh Mevani.
The protests have been massive. It has received praise for it expressed the undaunted spirit of the farmers who feed the entire nation. There are reports of ex-army personnel coming out in support for the cause. The people at large have welcomed the disciplined efforts of the farmers. There are, probably, a lot many lessons we could learn from their tales of persistence, and bravery.