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Gantry 5

 

India: the peasant revolt is growing.

N°10-01/03/2021 After two months of demonstrations at the gates of Delhi against the reforms of the agricultural sector, called Farm Bills (voir l'article Inde : Levée en masse de la paysannerie) the peasants obtained its freeze.

Although the Indian Supreme Court put the reform on hold, the movement continues. The farmers are demanding outright withdrawal. Hundreds of thousands are now camped along the highways leading to the capital, access to which is blocked and the Supreme Court's ruling has not calmed the influx of protesters. The movement looks like a steadfast human tide. 86% of small farmers live and support their families on land of about 0.8 hectares, their survival is threatened by these reforms through the minimum purchase prices of food, especially wheat and rice.
The farmers have set up a real siege. This winter, temperatures are approaching zero around the capital. Dozens of farmers have already frozen to death. In neighboring states, protests began five months ago, in Punjab and Haryana where the police used the water cannon to repel protesters. Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra have recently joined the fight. The ever-increasing number of participants are determined to hold out for months. The mobilization does not weaken. They have broad popular support.
Among other things,this reform allows farmers to sell their products at their own chosen price and no longer at fixed prices on state markets. This situation raises concern among small and medium-sized farmers who fear unfair competition with large farmers. For its part, with this reform the government is seeking to attract new investors to the sector. In India, agriculture accounts for 15% of the GDP. This activity provides livelihood for nearly 70% of the 1.3 billion Indians.
The Indian Supreme Court has put the reform on hold as a tactic to prevent the Republic's anniversary, January 26, from being besieged by angry peasants especially in New Delhi. By this step the court hoped to break the trade union front which has been very strong so far.
For the CPI (M)-Indian Communist Party (Marxist): “The suspension is not linked to a new hearing on the substantive issues raised in the petitions or by the farmers in the struggle. It is linked to the establishment of an "expert committee" which has been tasked with presenting its report in two months. None of the petitioners called for the establishment of the committee. Moreover, during the negotiations, the representatives of the farmers had already rejected the offer of a committee. "
Indeed, this institution intervenes in support of the government of Narendra Modi. It suspended the laws and proposed a committee of experts whose members are obviously in favor of this reform. In recent years, the Supreme Court has aligned itself with the positions of the government. This has been seen on several occasions, such as in the endorsement it gave to the Narendra Modi regime for citizenship registration in Assam state, a measure aimed at identifying Muslim refugees from Bangladesh.
The Indian authorities are trying to gain the upper hand over the peasants. The government has taken a hard line. Police obstructed by using charges and tear gas, naturally provoking an angry reaction, leaving one dead and four hundred injured in the Indian capital on January 26.
Discussions with the unions are broken off.
Not only the main leaders of the peasant movement face repression, but also opposition personalities or journalists accused of having posted messages on social networks. Thirty-seven union leaders are targeted by these preliminary inquiries citing charges of "attempted murder" and "riot and criminal conspiracy". Twitter accounts were blocked by the American company Twitter Inc by order of Narendra Modi.
The Political Bureau of the CPI (M) welcomes: "This fight has reiterated with insistence that these agricultural laws must be repealed and that the MSP (minimum guarantee price) must be legislated as the legal right of all farmers in the country.
The Political Bureau of CPI (M) extends its full solidarity and support for Samyukta Kisan Morcha's decision to continue the peaceful struggle until these backward agricultural laws are repealed "…
It “calls again on the central government to immediately announce the repeal of these laws and to go in this direction during the next budgetary session of the Parliament. "
The peasant revolt which is profoundly shaking India and the historic general strike of 250 million workers (18.5% of the population) of December 8, mark a deep crisis in Indian society.
The Modi government aligns itself with the interests of big monopoly capital.
Our party brings its internationalist support to the struggles of workers, the unemployed, young people and Indian peasants who are fighting for their survival.