Farmers from all over India were protesting on the streets of New Delhi demanding better prices for their produce and complete freedom from debt.
The huge and energetic gathering in Parliament Street near the Parliament House of India took place on November 20 and November 21.
The demands were simple and the slogans conveyed it all. “Kisan ki loot nahin chalegi” and “Kisanon ko karza mukti deni hogi.”
The biggest grouse they have is against the PM who has promised the farmers that if elected, his government would double the income by 2022. However, everyone is sceptical about the promise and were there to question the Prime Minister.
The farmer suicide is a direct result of poor pricing mechanism and rural debt.
Some of the voices in the protest rally were that of:
Mithali Lal Raket: He claimed that the Prime Minister had promised that the farmers would get good prices for their crops. The massive injustice in prices is pushing the farmers into debt, forcing them to commit suicide. They do not have water to harvest their crops and no money in hand.
Sunita Kushwala (A single parent): Her husband left Sunita without giving divorce and married another lady and now they are both are staying in Bombay. Sunita is staying with her in-laws. She got beaten up by them very badly when she registered a complaint against her husband. She has an 8-year-old daughter who stays with her nani as Sunita cannot afford to make her daughter study. She is also scared of her in-laws as she thinks they will kill her daughter.
Sunita wants justice as her husband is not staying with her. She is not able to get any ration, as she doesn’t have her husband’s Aadhaar card with her. Her point is why is always everything named after a husband and not in the name of a wife. The most surprising thing which she said was that she is not the only one whose husband left her. There are so many women in the whole area, who are being tortured exactly like her by their in-laws.
Sunita has asked the government to look upon those who have nothing in their hands and are starving in hunger.
The question to ask the government is why the industry, which has the largest chunk of people working in it and contributing a large chunk of GDP in such a crisis and why is nothing being done except lip service?
How can a government which claims itself to be sensitive and headed by a person who claims to have risen from amongst the poor, not understand the plight of poor farmers?
Will this protest put pressure on the government to act or will it become a scenario when another one bites the dust? The answer may come in a while but one thing is sure. The Indian farmer will not keep quiet any longer and will continue to demand more.