Many colours, languages and stories at Kisan Mukti March
NEW DELHI: Tens of thousands of farmers, some carrying skulls of those who committed suicide, others bare-bodied in the winter sun and many widows with photos of their husbands, were on the streets in the heart of Delhi on Friday as they marched towards Parliament demanding loan waivers and better prices for their produce. They had camped overnight at Ramlila ground after gathering from different parts of the country on Thursday.
Holding flags of red, yellow and blue thousands of farmers raised there voice for the justice and the special session of the Parliament. People from various cultures and different language groups just became friends within a day. A 70-year old Jivan Singh who wore a green turban took the hands of Kumar Dodappa's on his shoulder and helped him to walks as the latter's feet were bleeding.
The march showed friendship, stories of deaths, and the courage of struggle. "In my village in Tamil Nadu, at least one person from every family committed suicide. The agricultural insurance failed and we have not yet received any money from the banks. We had no way out other than agitating," said Ramesh Mondal, from West Bengal.
Farmers began their march from Ramlila Maidan. Farmers from various parts of the country converged at Delhi's iconic ground on Thursday. As Ramlila Maidan became the halt for the night for thousands of farmers, echoes of demands for their "haq" resonated in the crisp Delhi winter air. At a 'Kisan Night' organised to lift the spirits of the farmers, one of the performers sang, "Ab haq ke bina bhi kya jeena, yeh jeene ke samaan nahi".
Veteran journalist P Sainath who spent time with the farmers on Thursday night pointed out to what he called a larger agrarian crisis. "What you are witnessing in the country is bigger than a drought. The farm suicide data has not been published in the last two years. The figures stopped at 2015," he said.
The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee or AIKSCC, the umbrella body for farmers' groups, demanded a special session of Parliament to pass bills seeking a loan waiver and better prices for crops. It has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to join the protest march. Friday's rally is the fourth major farmers' rally led by the organisation in the last year and a half, which represents over 200 groups.