From India News Network (INN)
New Delhi, March, 13: The continued disruption of agriculture, strongly pursuance of anti-people policies by the governments, and apathy for the conditions of farmers and agricultural workers has reached a new low – where a coordinated attack and unleashing of terror among rural communities has seen animal husbandry and its existence per se under threat. Small, medium and marginal farmers are strongly affected by the emerging practice of criminalisation and extortions in the name of cow protection. The violent manifestations of the right wing in the forms of vigilantism, calling out people working with cattle as involved in illegal transport, and hence seeking to seek justifications for mobs to kill people on the streets.
Hindutva, the agenda of the RSS has been growing in the corridors of power, and identifies and targets farmers and agricultural workers, especially from dalit and muslim communities. We already have instances in some of the states ruled by the BJP – like Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, where the brahminical Hindu Rashtra has seemingly become infused with state policy.
Dancing to the whims of monopolistic corporate houses, the ruling party is laying groundwork for communalised divisions in society, and at the same time taking away the employment and revenue generation, derived from animal husbandry. The practice of keeping animals for help in agriculture, an essential part of the process, has been made a dangerous occupation. Information and legal/formal fairs of animal trade have almost shut down in many parts. It has become very difficult for farmers to simply sell their cattle in the open market, or procure (including transport) them from the markets to their homes. The houses of dalits and muslims are under the scanner, to see what meat is being cooked, or to find reasons to kill them based on what meat they might have kept in their refrigerator. The attempts to create terror and fear in society has thus, increased.
Farmer debts have already taken away many lives in the country. In addition, the illegal attacks on the sale of cattle for agriculture, including those that have grown old, sick and in disuse have only aggravated the crisis in the economic use of cattle; which needs to also be understood further. Life cycles of animals and the livelihood of the farming communities are directly related. Would the rural economy withstand the breaking away of this ecosystem? Government sponsored go-shalas, their mushrooming in areas dominated by the ruling BJP, and their actual conditions on the ground also needs further exploring.
The growth of communal polarisation, Hindutva agendas and the violence of the majorities over the minorities needs proper analysis, making it imperative to understand communal politics and the crisis in the sectors of agriculture and the lives of people dependent on it. On both these fronts, the unity of farmers and agriculture workers, dalits, adivasis and all oppressed groups is detrimental to offer resistance.
It is in this context that we invite you to a two-day national convention on March 20 – 21 at Constitution Club of India, joined by farmers organisations, social activists, political party representatives, academics and the victims of the families of this violence.
The press meeting was addressed by Hannan Mollah (All India Kisan Sabha), Prem Singh (All India Kisan Mahasabha)Ramesh Kumar (Akhil Bhartiya Kisan Khet Mazdoor Sangathan) Rajendra Ravi (National Alliance of People’s Movements)Anil Chowdhary (INSAF) and Suneet Chopra (All India Agriculture Workers Union)
The convention will be accompanied by a photo feature on the theme looking at the cultural and economic aspects of the same. The feature would bring home the point through images, data sheets, videos, sounds and so on.