With utmost anger the Communist Ghadar Party of India condemns the brutal terror unleashed by the Madhya Pradesh government against farmers agitating for their rights. At least 6 farmers have been shot dead while dozens of others are battling death with severe injuries when police and paramilitary forces opened fire on agitating farmers in Mandsaur on June 6.
On June 7, the Central government rushed in several additional battalions of para military forces to the Malwa region to suppress the farmers struggle. Curfew has been imposed in Mandsaur and nearby areas. Internet and mobile phone services have been suspended in several districts such as Indore, Ujjain, Ratlam, Dewas and Mandsaur. Large parts of the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh now resemble a war zone.
Members and supporters of Jan Sangharsh Manch, Haryana protesting against firing on Mandsaur farmers
The brutal repression has angered the farmers and broad masses of people, and the entire state of Madhya Pradesh observed a bandh on June 7. Defying the curfew imposed by the authorities, farmers in many of the villages of the region are gathering in ever larger numbers, blocking the highways, and registering their protests against state terror.
The farmers of Madhya Pradesh launched their 10 day agitation on June 1. They are demanding that the state fix remunerative procurement prices for all crops — including in particular vegetables — as well as milk. Furthermore the state must actually ensure their procurement at these prices. They are also demanding that the state waive the crippling debt of the farmers to banks and other institutions. The unseasonal rain and severe drought over the past three years has driven large numbers of farmers in Madhya Pradesh to ruin. These demands of the farmers are entirely just.
The struggle of the farmers in Madhya Pradesh is part of the struggle of farmers in several states across the country, including Maharashtra, Haryana and Rajasthan, that has broken out with great intensity since the beginning of June. Tamilnadu too has witnessed powerful struggles of farmers over similar demands.
The Central and state governments never stop talking about their “concern” for improving farmers livelihood. This talk is aimed at hiding the truth that the orientation of the economy and the policies pursued by them are leading to the systematic ruination of farmers all over the country. In vast regions of our country, farmers were forced to throw their produce, or leave them in the fields to rot, as the cost of taking them to the mandis was more than the price they would get! The Central and state governments have refused to guarantee procurement of vegetables. Furthermore, even the prices they set for procurement of other crops are not remunerative. This year, the producers of Arhar Dal have been ruined, as a result of the low procurement price set by the government.
The Central and state governments are pursuing the course of bringing agricultural production and distribution completely under the domination of giant Indian and foreign agricultural trading monopolies. Far from ensuring secure livelihood to the producers of vegetables, fruits, pulses, milk, foodgrains, and other agricultural produce, they want to bring the farmers under the jackboots of the trading monopolies. They refuse to accept that it is the responsibility of the state to ensure prosperity and protection to the farmers.
The farmers of Madhya Pradesh, as also farmers in rest of country, are more and more coming to the conclusion that they have to organize themselves and assert their just claims. They cannot rely on the false promises of the government.
To smash the united struggle of the farmers, the Madhya Pradesh government arrested the leaders of the main farmers organisations leading the struggle — the Bharatiya Kisan Union, the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh and other farmers organizations. It then carried out propaganda that the farmers had decided to call off their struggle. This was the same tactic adopted by the Maharashtra government. However, in both the states, this tactic has failed in quelling the farmers struggle. Farmers have seen through the divisive game of the government and intensified their protests. They have rejected calls to give up their struggle and demanded that the government first fulfill their just demands.
The brutal response of the government to the agitation of the farmers in Madhya Pradesh shows clearly that the Indian state is totally committed to serving the interests of the biggest monopoly capitalists, Indian and foreign, who see the agricultural sector in India as a huge and profitable market. Far from ensuing security and prosperity for the farmers, it is marching on a course that will lead to the ruin of the vast masses of farmers. The struggle of the farmers for their rights is entirely just.