ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Farmers and Their Nation

The cultivating millions need a responsive nation; they have decided not to flee or desert it.

In the last few months, the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), consisting of nearly 200 farmers organisations, has been mobilising farmers for a march towards Delhi (Dilli Chalo). They plan to reach the capital city on 29 and 30 November. The AIKSCCs main agenda is the demand for a special session of Parliament in order to discuss the agrarian crisis in the country. The farmers want this Parliament session to be devoted to discussions on the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission, implementation and regulation of the policy of minimum support price (MSP), the problematic privatisation of the crop insurance policy, the governments faulty methods in categorising drought-prone areas, and the discriminatory approach that the banks have adopted towards farmers who have taken loans from different banks. As the farmers experience shows, some banks seem to have adopted hard and humiliating measures in order to recover these loans. Notably too, some of these banks have adopted a rather generous attitude towards certain individuals who are guilty of defaulting on their loans to the tune of several thousands of crores. A large number of farmers are the victims of this discriminatory approach of the banks.

The farmers are sceptical about the viability of the MSP working in their favour. They have for long been asking as to what extent the MSP would be able to free them from the vagaries of the market, which has been controlled by private parties who are primarily interested in making huge profits. Similarly, they also have good reason to believe that the expanding stranglehold of corporate insurance companies over cash crops would benefit the companies rather than the farmers. They doubt the accuracy of the remote sensing method, which, according to them, does not give an accurate picture of water reservoirs. All these factors have led to the agrarian crisis that manifests its devastating nature in the tragic suicides of more than three lakh farmers.

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Published On : 16th Nov, 2018

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