One of the most important promises that the Modi government did was to double the farmers’ income by 2022. However, only a few months are left for another Lok Sabha elections, yet nothing has changed for Indian farmers. Indian farmers are angry at the Government. And it is visible from the actions taken by the farmers in 2018. There have been around four major protests, including the current protest in New Delhi, conducted by farmers in 2018. he recent protest, Kisan Mukti March, is one of the major protests where farmers and agricultural labourers from across India have marched towards the Indian Parliament. There are lakhs of farmers from different states such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh gathered together under the banner of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) against the agrarian crisis in the country.
They are demanding the right prices for their produce, loan waivers, reduced hardships, and a special session in the Parliament for tackling this issue. We need to critically analyse the past scenarios that has sparked this protest among the farmers and agricultural labourers.
It is crystal clear that there have been drastic climate changes in the past wherein the harvest of the crops was not as per the expectations of the farmers. However, the farmers in desperation had borrowed money at substantially higher interest rates to purchase farm inputs such as seeds, fertilisers, and fodder. In many cases, farmers even mortgaged their land as debt, but due to crop failure, it became challenging for them to repay their loans. Moreover, the prices in the market for their produce was not high enough to support their livelihood and repay the loans. In such a crisis, many farmers committed suicide.This crisis has been going on for many years.
Further, the government has failed to come up with strategies to cope up with such adversity. The focus of the government has been to build international relations, impart skill training, promote digital literacy, and infrastructure developments. But agriculture especially the farmers and agricultural labourers have been ignored. There hasn’t been enough discussion on this issue in the parliament. These are just a few of the reasons that have contributed to the agitation among the farmers to come out of their farms and protest for their survival.
I would end the article with a few questions. What if the farmers spend their days, weeks and months in protest then who will be producing food for us? Is internal crisis like this one isn’t important enough?