After Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the ongoing farmers’ as “andolan jivi“, many people, including numerous farm unions expressed dismay over the comment.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella organisation of numerous farm unions, “reminded” Modi that it was protests and mass demonstrations that led to India’s independence from the British Raj. They also said that the farmers will “go back to farming” only after the government accepts their demands.
“SKM condemns the insulting of farmers by the Prime Minister. Farmers would like to remind the PM that it is andolans that have liberated India from colonial rulers and that is why we are proud to be Andolan jivi. It is the BJP and its predecessors that had never done any andolan against Britishers and they were always against the andolans, they are still scared of public movements,” the morcha said through a statement.
The organisation further doubted the government’s intention to resolve the issue and strongly condemned the Centre’s move to “silence the voice of people”, in an apparent reference to Twitter blocking several accounts related to the unions.
“SKM notes that the huge turnout and support extended by Kisan Mahapanchayats in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh are highly encouraging and the protesting farmers at the borders are strengthened by the same…After Twitter accounts, music videos related to the ongoing farmers’ protest have been removed from YouTube. We strongly oppose these efforts to suppress the voice of people”, the morcha’s statement read.
Meanwhile, the All India Kisan Sabha also condemned the remarks made by the Prime Minister and said that the PM is “solely responsible for the ongoing struggles”. In a press note, the organisation demanded that the Prime Minister should withdraw the farm laws and the Electricity Bill and “implement his 2014 election promise of MSP at C2+50%”.
“Each farmer as a citizen has the right to protest as per the Constitution of India, and the Prime Minister is abusing his power to malign the farmers struggling to protect their livelihood is highly condemnable. The AIKS appeals to all democratic sections, political parties and mass and class movements to come forward to condemn this insult of farmers by the PM,” All India Kisan Sabha noted.
The speech made by the Prime Minister in Parliament, the organisation added, exposes the compulsions of his government that is under the grip of foreign and domestic corporate capital.
“The PM rammed through the pro-corporate, anti-farmer and anti-people farm laws in Parliament without consulting a single farmers’ organisation or a single state government. The farmers will not step back till all their genuine demands are met, including repeal of the 3 Farm Acts, legally guaranteed MSP @C2+50%, withdrawal of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020 and dropping of the anti-farmer clauses of the Pollution Ordinance.
“AIKS calls upon all its units and all the farmers of India to organise massive protests all over the country against the insult of the farming community by the Prime Minister and prepare for more determined mass struggles across the country”, read the press note.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and Maharashtra minister Ashok Chavan also condemned the remarks made by the Prime Minister and said that they were an “insult’ to the farmers of India.
“The farmer is one of the key elements which is keeping humanity alive. Using the word ‘andolan jivi’ sarcastically for farmers’ agitation is an insult to farmers. It is disrespect to them. Such usage is unacceptable”, said the Congress leader.