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Government Of, By, For The People: Are The Farmer Protests Telling A Different Story?

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December 8 was a Bharat Bandh. I’m sure you are aware of the reason behind this act, but knowing only factual information about that protest is not enough. As an Indian citizen, we must be aware of all that is happening around us. 2020 has become a year of several new laws, rules, regulations but surprisingly all seem to not be following the rules of democracy.

Last year, we were fighting for our land citizenship and so on protesting against CAA and  NRC. This time again, we are fighting for our land crops. All these times, our basic rights are targeted by these so-called rules regulations and policies. We have been listening for years about farmers dying by suicide but nothing has been done to solve this problem. This protest has been initiated after the act was passed by both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.

Representational image.

We have been listening about farmer’s suicides for a long time now. Merely thinking about these things and not trying for change to happen is a sin for them and ourselves. They are food givers who fulfil our basic needs and don’t even get a good return for that. Farmers grow crops that satiate our hunger. Vegetables and crops are getting a high rate in the market but they are selling to the market at a very low rate. They have been suffering for centuries due to politics and exploitations.

Firstly, Britishers took all the benefits and then later, the government ignored them. They find themselves abandoned. Indian economy is based on agriculture to a large extent. For growth and development, we need to support our farmers. The government needs to implement rules and policy that will lead to their growth rather than snatching their land and rights.

We can see for ourselves how Indian democracy has been turning into a capitalist economy where some private companies or a particular group is governing the country and making laws and rules as per their advantage.

As per my perception, whenever we think of bringing some change or passing any rule, we must discuss with that particular class and section to know the desirable change for the sake of development.

Here, I would like to remind the readers of the words of the great democrat of the 19th century Abraham Lincoln: Government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth. 

All these rules and policies are not in the favour of the farmers and Indian citizens. Farmers are doing their protest peacefully. They have some demands which must be fulfilled by the government as early as possible. We elected the government to make the country prosperous and developed rather than to demolish the structure of democracy.

Demands from the farmers are given below:

  • To take back all the cases registered against agitating farmers to reduce diesel prices by 50%
  • Revocation of three Farm Acts
  • Legally ensure minimum support price (MSP)

First of all, we need to understand that this protest is not associated with only farmers but how each corner of the country would be impacted by this law. As per these laws, farmers will not get the benefits of crops and the poor won’t be able to buy the veggies and crops due to the high rate of price. Farmers are protesting for their rights and their land. All farmers and government policymakers along with each other should discuss all these issues regarding crops, farmers’ bill and other related issues.

I was surprised after seeing their honesty, genuineness and determination.

Hats off to my all the Kisan Bhai.

Now I would like to share my thought about the government reaction. This is heartbreaking. They need a solution and they are getting punished without committing any crime. The government is trying to suppress their voices by using their power in a way mentioned underneath. The government has reacted to the protest in the following way:

  • Water cannons
  • Digging of the highway to stop the way
  • Demand for the Jail Stadium from Delhi Government
  • Suppression of the protests in any possible way

Role Of Mainstream Media

They are playing a vital role in proving our farmers as terrorists and giving ridiculous titles such as Khalistani, Terrorists and Congress supporters.

Role Of AAP Government

Here, one very important fact that I would like to bring to light is that the Central Government has demanded all the stadiums from the Delhi government to convert them into temporary jails. We are blessed with an honest and true Chief Minister and Deputy M Manish Sisodia. They denied the request of the Central government substantiating their real nationalistic support to our farmers.

Delhi Chief Minister is also visiting regularly to monitor all the facilities and suitable conditions for our farmers. This is my genuine appeal to all the CMs from the state to extend support to farmers’ protest. First of all, we must make sure that this protest isn’t just a farmers’ protest, but the protest of every citizen of India.

This is a fight for justice

This is everyone’s protest.

We must come together on the same platform for the revocation of the farmer bills otherwise, we are going to purchase veggies and crops at the rate of gold instead of the basic rate. Privatisation of every industry is going on but privatisation of the agriculture industry is an alarming sign of colonization and symbol of the falling state of Indian  Democracy.

First of all, any policy related to any sector must be discussed with all the experts of the field to consider suggestions for betterment.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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