FARMERS’ ONGOING MOVEMENT IN INDIA

Six Months of Farmers’ Protest At Delhi Border

Harsh Thakor

Countercurrents | May 27, 2021

There could hardly have been a better celebration of six months of the Delhi farmers protest at Tikri border in Delhi completed today, with the flag of liberation shimmering at a crescendo, on the call for a bandh of Samyukti Kisan Morcha.An impact of an inferno or intensity of coal burning in a furnace was displayed at Tikri border by the farmers in the May 26th protest by Bharatiya Kisan Union(Ugrahan).It was remarkable the manner it galvanised all the forces to crystallise such an event. The volume of revolutionary resistance was sung at it’s highest pitch, with the morale of a victorious army.Read More »

REVOLUTIONARY ALLIANCE 

Cuba, Venezuela strengthen agri-food ties in face of sanctions

|

Prensa Latina

Havana, Mar 9 (efe-epa).- Cuba and Venezuela agreed on Tuesday to promote food sovereignty by expanding bilateral cooperation to the field of agri-food, which the governments of the countries say is one of the areas most affected by sanctions imposed by the United States.

The agreements were signed within the framework of the XXI Cuba-Venezuela Intergovernmental Commission held in Havana, headed by the Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez and Cuban Vice Prime Minister Ricardo Cabrisas.

Among the planned actions are the exchange of knowledge, the planting of cereals, vegetables and tubers, and initiatives in the livestock and fish farming sectors.Read More »

AGRICULTURE 

Why Protection of Traditional Wisdom in Agriculture is Extremely Important

Bharat Dogra

Countercurrents | February 19, 2021

It is well recognized that not all traditions are goods. Some widespread aspects of many traditional societies like discrimination and inequality  at various levels ( such as caste, gender and class) need to be rejected completely. However there are several other aspects relating to the wisdom accumulating over centuries regarding farming and allied activities, forestry, water conservation, crafts and related issues which need to be protected and valued greatly.Read More »

INDIAN FARMERS’ MOVEMENT 

Farm Law Talks: Made to ‘Wait 3 Hours by Centre,’ Farmers’ Stick to Repeal Demand in 11th Round

The Wire | January 22, 2021

New Delhi: The 11th round of meetings between the Centre and agitating farmers’ unions was held at the Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Friday, a day after farmers’ unions said no to the Centre’s proposal to suspend the controversial farm laws for one and a half years.

The farmers’ unions officially communicated their decision to the Centre in the meeting.

Responding to the decision taken by the joint farmers’ front to stick to their demand of the repeal of laws and reject the Centre’s offer, the Centre reportedly told the farmers to reconsider their decision because it has exhausted all options for them.Read More »

FARMERS’ MOVEMENT IN INDIA

Farmers’ Protests Reflect Existential Crisis of Indian Agriculture

Colin Todhunter

Countercurrents | January 21, 2021

With over 800 million people, rural India is arguably the most interesting and complex place on the planet but is plagued by farmer suicides, child malnourishment, growing unemployment, increased informalisation, indebtedness and an overall collapse of agriculture.

Given that India is still an agrarian-based society, renowned journalist P Sainath says what is taking place can be described as a crisis of civilisation proportions and can be explained in just five words: hijack of agriculture by corporations. He notes the process by which it is being done in five words too: predatory commercialisation of the countryside. And another five words to describe the outcome: biggest displacement in our history.Read More »

INDIAN FARMERS’ MOVEMENT 

As Farm Law Protests Continue, NIA Sees ‘Anti-National’ Plot, Summons Activists

Sandeep Singh

The Wire | January 17, 2021

New Delhi: Even as the union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar told that the government will continue to engage with protesting farmers, several prominent people involved with and supporting the agitation have been slapped with notices from the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Among those who received notices are farmers’ leader Baldev Singh Sirsa, Punjabi actor and activist Deep Sindhu, a Punjab-based television journalist Jasbir Singh, and activist Gurpreet Singh, popularly known as Mintu Malwa.Read More »

PERUVIAN AGRICULTURE WORKERS’ PROTEST

Peruvian Agricultural Workers’ Strike Met With Violent Repression

José Carlos Llerena

Peoples Dispatch | December 23, 2020

Police repressed agricultural workers on the Panamerican highway in the Chao district in Virú. Photo: Gian Masko Angulo

On December 21, hundreds of agricultural workers from Peru embarked on a fresh agrarian strike, blocking highways along the Peruvian coast, in rejection of the failure of Congress to pass a new agrarian law. The new law would guarantee the labor rights of workers in agribusiness and would seek to improve what workers have deemed “slavery work conditions” that they have suffered under for nearly 20 years under the former Agrarian Promotion Law.Read More »

INDIAN FARMERS’ PROTEST

Resilience of Farmers Protesting on Delhi’s Borders Instils Hope in India’s Future

Rohit Kumar

The Wire | December 24, 2020

Not too many in India would disagree that 2020 has truly been annus horribilis.

For those who have felt the scourge of COVID-19 or know someone who has, it has been a year of disease and death; for those who have lost their jobs or livelihood, it has been a year of deprivation and depression; and for those who have dared to speak out against the excesses of a dictatorial state, it has been a year when they have had to pay a heavy price for their courage.

And yet, for all the tragedy and trauma that the year has brought, it is worth remembering that 2020 has also been bookended by two of the largest non-violent protests that independent India has ever seen. The countrywide, anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) and NRC (National Register of Citizens) protests at the beginning of the year, and the massive farmer protests at the end of it.Read More »

IMPERIALISM’S BLUEPRINT

Imperial Intent: Destroying India’s Farm Sector

Colin Todhunter

Agriculture in India is at a crossroads. Indeed, given that over 60 per cent of the country’s 1.3-billion-plus population still make a living from agriculture (directly or indirectly), what is at stake is the future of India. Unscrupulous interests are intent on destroying India’s indigenous agri-food sector and recasting it in their own image. Farmers are rising up in protest.

To appreciate what is happening to agriculture and farmers in India, we must first understand how the development paradigm has been subverted. Development used to be about breaking with colonial exploitation and radically redefining power structures. Today, neoliberal dogma masquerades as economic theory and the subsequent deregulation of international capital ensures giant transnational conglomerates are able to ride roughshod over national sovereignty.

Read More »

POLITICAL ECONOMY 

Agriculture and the Free Market

Prabhat Patnaik

People’s Democracy | December 13, 2020

IN the context of the on-going country-wide kisan movement for repealing Modi’s three agriculture bills, while an overwhelming majority of commentators have stood with the position taken by the kisans, a few, though not necessarily agreeing with Modi, have raised the question: why shouldn’t agriculture operate within a free market? It is worth recapitulating here the answer to this question which is well-known but can bear repetition.

The free market solution is of course patently sub-optimal for the economy as a whole as Keynes had shown; but let us forget the Keynesian argument for the moment. Even so, the market solution is suboptimal in the case of agriculture for two distinct reasons. The prices that would rule for agricultural goods in a free market, far from being socially optimal, are likely to be socially disastrous; and the quantities that would be produced of various agricultural goods, or, what comes to the same thing, the land-use that would result if agriculture is left to the free market, is likely to be socially disastrous too.Read More »