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Land, Labor, and Livelihood: The Voices of Farmers Protest 2.0

Farmer Protest 2.0

Till We Find Solutions

Feb 14, 2024
Recent Events

On February 13, many farmers from Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh have marched to Delhi for what is being called "Farmer Protest 2.0." They want the government to give in to their demands, which include a legal promise for crops' Minimum Support Price (MSP). The traffic in border areas has been severely disrupted due to barricading put up by the government. It has made the movement of vehicles on major roads in the Delhi-NCR area extremely difficult.


The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha said that farmers would travel to Delhi on Tuesday in response to the failure of the meeting between the leaders of the farmer unions and the government to reach a settlement. The non-political SKM group consists of Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, headed by Sarvan Singh Pandher, and BKU (Dallewal), led by Jagjit Singh Dallewal. It states that 17 agriculture associations support it. SKM's most well-known faces have been Pandher and Dallewal from Punjab and Abhimanyu Kohar from Haryana.


The last time, the major demand from the farmers was for the farm laws to be thrown out, which the government agreed to after almost two years of protests. This time, however, the farmers are asking the Central government to take a number of steps that they say are necessary for farming to be profitable.


Some of the things that the farmers want are a legal guarantee that at least some of the Swaminathan Commission's suggestions will be put into action, pensions for farmers and farm workers, the cancellation of farm debt, the end of police investigations, justice for the victims of the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri, the return of the Land Acquisition Act 2013, leaving the World Trade Organisation, and money for the families of farmers who died in the previous protest.


Farmer Protest 2.0

Haryana's borders with Punjab have been strengthened with concrete blocks, iron nails, and barbed wire in Ambala, Jind, Fatehabad, Kurukshetra, and Sirsa in order to stop the planned march. In 15 districts, the Haryana government has also used Section 144 of the CrPC to ban gatherings of five or more people as well as marches or rallies with tractor-trailers.


One of the main things farmers who are striking want is MSP. MSP is the price at which the government buys crops from farmers, guaranteeing them a profit for their goods. When market prices drop below the MSP or when market prices change a lot, this price gives farmers a safety net to make sure they get a good price for their crops. The government's promise of MSP was one of the reasons why farmer groups ended their year-long protests on the edges of Delhi in 2020-21.


Compensation for farmers killed in Lakhimpur Kheri

The farmers want strict punishments for the people who caused the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3, 2021, when four farmers protesting were killed when their car hit them. The main person charged in this case is Ashish Mishra, who is the son of Union minister Ajay Mishra.


Withdrawal of Legal Charges

The farmers want the cases against protesters who took part in the long-lasting farmers' movement in 2020 and 2021 to be dropped.


Farmer Protest 2.0

Reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act 2013

The farmers who are protesting want to be paid back for land that was taken by different governments for building projects. They also want 10 percent of residential plots on built land to be set aside just for their families.

Farmers say that the current rates of pay are not enough and leave them without land. In particular, they say that the money they get from equate doesn't give them any land. They say that the money they get from authorities like the Noida Authority, the Greater Noida Authority, and the Yamuna Authority as compensation is not enough. The amount of money they get usually runs from 5 to 7 percent of the total land that was taken over. They also say that they have lost money because they bought land at lower prices in the past.


Withdrawal from the World Trade Organisation

Farmers have been calling for the suspension of all trade agreements and their expulsion from the World Trade Organisation.


Compensation for families of deceased farmers from previous agitation

The farmers have also requested compensation for family members of farmers who passed away during earlier unrest in 2021 from the government.

The governments of Delhi and Haryana are making a lot of plans to keep farmers' protests from moving around. Section 144 is in effect in many places, including the border with Delhi, and the police have told the farmer groups that they will face harsh legal action if they don't stop. In a number of locations, the police have put up strong barriers and fences, and they are even practicing using tear gas to be ready for anything that might go wrong.


Farmer Protest 2.0

According to the rules set by the Delhi Police, protesters will not be able to gather large groups of people, stop roads, or hold any kind of procession, rally, or public meeting.


The government is having an open dialogue with the farmers. The Khaps, or Jat community organisations, are not yet comfortable with the protests, even though farmer organisations are torn apart by factionalism. Two khaps have reportedly pleaded with the farmers to speak with the administration rather than besiege Delhi. A khap leader in Sonepat talked about the significant losses and inconveniences that the residents of Haryana's border regions endured during the previous protests, which resulted in the closure of numerous companies and industries.


The farmer protests this time around might be indifferent, based on these facts. As the harvest season approaches in a few months, the Lok Sabha elections may force farmers to return to their communities, and low participation may mean they are shorter than they were the last time. Still, a small-scale protest at first may grow into a larger-scale demonstration months later when more farmers join in and prominent figures like Tikait, Ugrahan, and Rajewal also get involved. The Center's outreach and security plan also play a major role.


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