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AIKSCC’s Plan of Action announced at the end Kisan Mukti Sansad, Nov. 20th & 21st 2017

In its existence of less than six months, the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) has revived and revitalised the farmers’ movement in India at the national level. It has created the largest ever coalition of farmers’ organisations in the country, cutting across states and agro-climatic regions. It has also bridged the divide between different classes of farmers and conflicting ideologies, to pave the way for a historic unity of the Indian farmers. It has begun a new phase of farmers’ activism that leverages information, uses new media, intervenes in policy debates and takes recourse of judicial activism, besides street mobilisation and ground struggle. It has built a rural-urban bridge and has received support from unusual quarters including employees, artists and traders. Urban consumers are stepping forward in solidarity with the farmers.
By organising Kisan Mukti Yatras covering nearly 10,000 kms over three months, the AIKSCC has created a nation-wide footprint for itself, besides deepening of consciousness among the farming and the non-farming communities.
The massive Kisan Mukti Sansad has been a major milestone in this journey. It demonstrated the capacity of this coalition for ground mobilisation across the country and succeeded in registering the plight of the farmers and their demands before the country. The first ever Women’s Parliament was a critical acknowledgement of the role of women as farmers. By formulating and presenting two Bills centred around its two demands (Click here to download), the AIKSCC has demonstrated that it is not merely about protests and opposition, it is a common resource for policy alternatives on Indian agriculture.
The Government has shown no inclination to listen to the farmers’ woes, despite thousands of farmers including hundred of farm suicide affected widows marching to Delhi. Neither the PM nor any of his ministerial colleagues has cared to come to this historic Sansad and listen to the farmers. This Kisan Sansad therefore resolves to intensify the struggle, widen its ambit and deepen its reach to the grassroots. The next phase is thus for intensification of the movement on our twin agenda, besides spreading awreness about both the bills and organisational improvements.

1. Nation-wide Campaign to spread public consciousness about two bills: beginning on 26th of November in Baardoli (Gujarat), AIKSCC will carry out a nation-wide communication campaign by way of seminars, public discussion, social media campaigns and publications. The campaign will culminate in a Kisan Mukti Diwas on 26th of January all over the country. The campaign will include:
• Organising 500 Kisan Mukti Charchas/ Seminars across the country at district and sub-district level: each charcha to be centred around the two Bills released by AIKSCC;
• Handing over the Bills to Members of Parliament;
• State level conventions/charchas will be organised;
• A short documentary on Kisan Mukti Yatras and Kisan Mukti Sansad will be created and released;
• Booklets of FAQs on the two Bills will be created and released.

2. Ground Action around dual agenda for Rabi 2017-18: Kisan Mukti Abhiya
• Not below MSP/Nynatam se nyun nahin : Protests in Mandis against sale below MSP, or non availability of Mandis.
• No stigmatisation campaign/ Na-Kurku, Na Munadi: Disruption of any auction of indebted farmers’ property and against any attempt to name-shame indebted farmers
• “Chetavni Satyagrah” on Kisan Mukti Diwas on the Republic Day.

3. Organisational consolidation/
• Formal membership of existing member organisations will happen;
• Enrolment of new organisations will take place;
• Constitution and/or rules will be evolved.

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Companiyon ko chhoot, kisanon ki loot

Dear friends,

Request your cooperation for a social media campaign called COMPANIYON KO CHHOOTT, KISANON KI LOOT.

This is basically around pictures of farmers, across all states of India, women and men, selling different crops from cereals to pulses to oilseeds to veggies, are not realising remunerative prices in the markets, and to tell that story to the world through good use of social media. The instruction sheet will give you a good idea of what this is about. Go through it. You will need to translate the placard design into your local language, and fill out details for each farmer. Make sure you have your arithmetic right, please! 🙂
Please pitch in into this campaign and let us tell the story of our farmers across the country, to the entire nation. Please do let me (email: kavitakuruganti@gmail.com) or Neha Saigal (email: nsaigal1985@gmail.com) know if you have any queries.
Thanks


Poster template (landscape & portrait)
Source File (.cdr)

Instruction sheet 

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प्रेस नोट – अखिल भारतीय किसान संघर्ष समन्वय समिति नई दिल्ली, 14 अक्टूबर 2017

अखिल भारतीय किसान संघर्ष समन्वय समिति का ऐलान, 20 नवम्बर को होगी किसान मुक्ति संसद।

ऋण मुक्ति और डेढ़ गुना समर्थन मूल्य का बिल पारित कर संसद को भेजा जायेगा।

अखिल भारतीय किसान संघर्ष समन्वय समिति ( AIKSCC) द्वारा 20 नवम्बर को किसानों की ऋण मुक्ति और किसानों की उपज को लागत से डेढ़ गुना समर्थन मूल्य पर खरीद सुनिश्चित करने की मांग को लेकर दिल्ली के संसद मार्ग पर किसान मुक्ति संसद का आयोजन किया जायेगा। किसान मुक्ति संसद में उक्त आशय का बिल पारित कर सरकार से उसे संसद में पारित कराने की मांग की जायेगी। इस बिल को सभी राजनीतिक दलों को भी भेजा जायेगा तथा जिन पार्टियों की ओर से संसद में बिल के समर्थन में लिखित आश्वासन दिया जायेगा उनके एक सांसद प्रतिनिधि को किसान मुक्ति संसद को बिल पारित होने के बाद संबोधित करने के लिए आमंत्रित किया जायेगा।

किसान मुक्ति संसद के माध्यम से आत्महत्या करने वाले किसानों के परिवार की व्यथा समाज और देश के समक्ष रखा जायेगा। यह निर्णय अखिल भारतीय किसान संघर्ष समन्वय समिति की सामान्य आम सभा की बैठक में आज 14 अक्टूबर को एन डी तिवारी भवन में संयोजक बी एम सिंह की अध्यक्षता में लिया गया। बैठक में 20 राज्यों के 180 किसान संगठनों के प्रतिनिधियों ने भाग लिया. बैठक में विभिन्न राज्यों के किसान प्रतिनिधियों ने विभिन्न कृषि उत्पादों के दामों में लगातार हो रही कमी, किसानों की बढती आत्महत्याएं, 260 जिलों में बारिश की कमी से उत्पन्न सूखे की स्थिति, राज्य सरकारों के बढ़ते दमन पर चिंता व्यक्त करते हुए किसानों के बीच बढ़ते आक्रोश और असंतोष की जानकारी दी। सामान्य आम सभा की बैठक में 20 नवम्बर के कार्यक्रम की तैयारियों की समीक्षा की गयी तथा 13 अक्टूबर को अखिल भारतीय किसान संघर्ष समन्वय समिति की कार्यकारिणी की बैठक में हुए निर्णयों की जानकारी भी सभी सदस्य संगठनों को दी गयी। इस सामान्य सभा में अब तक हुए खर्चे तथा संभावित खर्चे की जानकारी भी सचिवालय की ओर से प्रस्तुत की गयी। बैठक में किसान नेता घंसी राम नयन, पुरुषोतम कौशिक, यवतमाल जिले में कीटनाशक के प्रभाव से मृत 38 किसानों, एवं आत्महत्या किये हुए किसानों को श्रद्धान्जलि दी गयी।

अखिल भारतीय किसान संघर्ष समन्वय समिति के संयोजक बी एम सिंह, राष्ट्रीय किसान मजदूर संगठन के पी कृष्णाप्रसाद, अखिल भारतीय किसान सभा, आशीष मित्तल, अखिल भारतीय किसान मजदूर सभा, प्रेम सिंह गहलावत, अखिल भारतीय किसान महासभा,डॉ दर्शन पाल, भारतीय किसान यूनियन भाकौन्दा, योगेन्द्र यादव, जय किसान आन्दोलन- (स्वराज अभियान), किरण विस्सा रैयतु स्वराज वेदिका, लोकसभा सांसद राजू शेट्टी, स्वाभिमानी शेतकारी संगठन, प्रतिभा शिंदे लोक संघर्ष मोर्चा, आईया कन्नू नेशनल साऊथ इंडिया रिवर लिंकिंग फार्मरस एसोसिएसन, डॉ सुनीलम, किसान संघर्ष समिति- जन आन्दोलनों का राष्ट्रीय समन्वय (NAPM) ने आज चंद्रशेखर भवन में प्रेस वार्ता कर देश में अब तक 14 राज्यों में हुई तीन चरणों की ‘किसान मुक्ति यात्राओं’ के जानकारी और अनुभव साझा किए तथा आगामी 29 अक्टूबर को कलकत्ता से शुरू होने वाली पूर्वी भारत की यात्रा की जानकारी दी। यह यात्रा पश्चिम बंगाल, ओडिशा, झारखंड एवं बिहार जाएगी। पूर्वोत्तर में गुवाहाटी की यात्रा 12 नवम्बर को होगी तथा हरियाणा और पंजाब की यात्रा 10 से 14 नवम्बर से निकाली जायेगी। किसान नेताओं ने विभिन्न राज्यों में किसानो की स्थिति तथा किसान आन्दोलनों सम्बंधित जानकारी भी प्रेस को दी।

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Kisan Mukti Yatra begins at Champaran on Oct 2, to arrive Allahabad on Oct 6.

Press Statement – 03.10.2017

Leaders of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, AIKSCC, conducting a Kisan Mukti Yatra all over the country shall be arriving at Allahabad October 6, 2017. The AIKSCC was formed in the aftermath of killing of 6 peasants in Mandsaur, MP by the BJP govt. Present Yatra started on October 2 from Champaran and held successful meetings in Bettiah and Motihari after garlanding of Mahatama Gandhi’s Statue at Bihitarwa yesterday and reached Siwan.

Kisan Mukti Yatra is mobilizing the peasants against indifferent, anti people and repressive attitude of the NDA/ BJP govts on severe losses being suffered by the peasantry. During elections, Prime Minister Modi promised to waive  farmer debts, prevent farmers from dying any more, pay 1.5 times the cost of production of all crops as Minimum Support Price as per the Swaminathan Commission recommendations of 2006 and double farmers income. Since 1995 more than 3 lac farmers have committed suicide and they continue under Modi rule. Farmers debt has risen by only 55% in these 3 years from Rs. 8.1 lac cr to Rs 12.6 lac crores. UP govt. has left out most of the indebted farmers, restricting waiver dues upto 2016. While farmers still owe lacs of rupees, it is waiving miniscule amounts of Rs 1 and 10.

Central govt has said it has no money for farmer loan waivers and in the Supreme Court it has said Swaminathan Commission cannot be implemented. However to help big corporate it has recently transferred Rs 6.7 lac crore of their debts into NPAs. Like the past years it has foregone corporate taxes worth Rs 6.11 lac crores in 2015-16.

The MNCs and their Indian associates are at the core of benefiting from anti peasant policies as they sell costly seeds, fertilizers, insecticides, machinery and diesel. They also purchase crops at low price and sell costly food products like bottled drinks, juices, ketchups, chips, etc. Present pro MNC policy is anti farmer and unpatriotic.

At Allahabad the AIKSCC leaders shall address a massive farmers meet at Ghoorpur at 1 pm and a meeting of intellectuals focussed on agricultural policy, WTO regulations and survival of Indian agriculture at Sadhna Sadan at 5 pm.

The speakers expected include Sri VM Singh (Convenor AIKSCC), Raju Shetty (Member of Parliament, Swabhiman Shetkari Sangathan), Dr. Sunilam (ex MLA Betul), Dr. Darshanpal (BKU Bhakaunda),  Bechan Ali (AIKKMS), Raja Ram Singh (AIK Mahasabha), Avik Saha (Jai Kisan Andolan), Akhilendra Pratap Singh (Swaraj Abhiyan), Dr. Ashish Mital (AIKMS) and others.

Issued on behalf of the Reception Committee: – Comrade Zia ul Haq, Justice Janardan Sahai, Sri Ravi Kiran Jain, Sri TP Singh, Umesh Narian Sharma, Prof OP Malviya, Prof AA Fatmi, Prof Ranjana Kakkar, Prof Nisha Srivastava, Zafar Bakht, Farman Naqvi, Com Harish Chandra Dwivedi, Pranay Krishna, Vijay Arora, Com Ravi Misra, Khursheed Naqvi, Prof Lalit Joshi, OD Singh, Raju Jaiswal, Prof. Sri Ballabh, KK Roy, Naresh Sahgal, Pancham Lal.

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KISAN MUKTI YATRA COMPLETES ITS SOUTH INDIA LEG SUCCESSFULLY

ALL INDIA KISAN SANGHARSH COORDINATION COMMITTEE PRESS RELEASE

KISAN MUKTI YATRA COMPLETES ITS SOUTH INDIA LEG SUCCESSFULLY –

MOBILISES STRONG SUPPORT FOR AIKSCC’S TWO MAIN DEMANDS ON FARM DEBT & PRICES

MODI GOVT MOST ANTI-FARMER GOVT EVER; WILL FACE WRATH OF FARMERS UNLESS DEMANDS ARE MET”, WARN AIKSCC LEADERS

Bangalore, September 23rd 2017:  The 8-day, 5-state South India leg of the Kisan Mukti Yatra ended in Bangalore here today after successfully mobilising strong support from various quarters of society towards its two main demands around farmers’ debts and farm prices. Undertaken under the aegis of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), a nation-wide joint platform of more than 160 farmer unions and movements of India, the yatra created ripples in the states it travelled in, with the participation of thousands of farmers and some unusual allies extending solidarity. The Yatra ended on a strong note in Bangalore today, after traveling through Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Leaders of the AIKSCC warned the Modi government against the farmer-unfriendly policies being adopted by the government and labelled the current government as the most anti-farmer government in independent India.

“Our next step is to take up such Yatras in other regions of the country too, after the Western and Southern region Kisan Mukti Yatras. The culmination of the yatras would be in a Kisan Sansad in Delhi on November 20th 2017 when the Winter Session of the Parliament begins, where tens of thousands of farmers are expected to participate. There is an unusually large mobilisation happening from the South Indian states too, from what we could gather throughout the Yatra. It is clear that farmers all over the country have now chosen to break their silence and struggle unitedly for their rights”, said V M Singh, Convenor of AIKSCC and President of Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sanghatan, Uttar Pradesh.

“It is clear that Narendra Modi has betrayed farmers of this country and has reneged on his commitment and promise. Farmers had the power to elect him and his party to power, and they also surely hold the power to remove him in the next elections, if just demands and existing commitments are not met immediately”, said Raju Shetty, Lok Sabha Parliamentarian and well-known farmer leader from Maharashtra. His party, Swabhimani Paksha, took a decision to walk out of the NDA recently.

Yogendra Yadav, Member of the National Working Group of AIKSCC and President of Swaraj India said that the Kisan Mukti Yatra has been successful in mobilising more organisations to join the AIKSCC, as well as support from unusual allies like state level Traders’ Association, All India Bank Officers Association, film artists, consumer organisations etc. What is unusual is to see farmer organisations uniting under a single umbrella on a commonly agreed programme around two demands – freedom from debt and full, remunerative prices, as rights of all farmers. This certainly bodes very well for farmers of this country. This includes agricultural workers, women farmers, adivasi and dalit farmers too.

Vijoo Krishnan, General Secretary of All India Kisan Sabha pointed out that a similar alliance on land rights of peasants had met with huge successes in the past, and that the current alliance would be more successful, given that it is expanding continuously.

“When we speak about freedom from debt, we are demanding a comprehensive and institutional relief mechanism with a statutory basis, and not the meaningless loan waivers that are being announced and implemented by some governments now. Similarly, when we talk about full, remunerative prices, in addition to the main demand of 50% margin over cost of production, we are also demanding that cost estimations should be real and that an improved MSP regime should become an entitlement of all farmers”, said Kavitha Kuruganti of ASHA-Kisan Swaraj.

Starting from when the Yatra entered Karnataka from Kerala at Gundlupeta in Chamarajanagara district, meetings in Mysuru, Pandavapura (Mandya district), Tumkur and Bangalore saw thousands of farmers and others participating.

Kisan Mukti Yatra in Karnataka saw the participation of farmer leaders like Kodihalli Chandrasekhar, Puttanaiah (sitting MLA from Melkote), Bayya Reddy, Basavaraj, Chamarasa Patil, B Nagendra, Chukki Nanjundaswamy, Anasuyamma, Nandini Jayaram and also agricultural worker union leaders like Chandrappa Hosakere, GN Nagaraj, Diwakar (RKS), Meenakshi Sundaram, Shoba and others.

For more information, contact:

  1. Badagalapura Nagendra, KRRS: 9036446838
  2. Kodihalli Chandrasekhar, KRRS: 9844293908
  3. Bayyareddy, Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha: 9448230121
  4. Kisan Vissa, Raithu Swarajya Vedika: 9701705743
  5. Kavitha Kuruganti, ASHA-Kisan Swaraj: 8880067772
South India (2017)

Kisan Mukti Yatra in Madurai and Vedasandur

PRESS RELEASE: Kisan Mukti Yatra (AIKSCC)

Agricultural Workers, Women Farmers and Human Rights activists bolster the Kisan Mukti Yatra in Madurai and Vedasandur

Madurai, September 20th 2017:  As the nationwide Kisan Mukti Yatra continued through Tamil Nadu today through Madurai, Vedasandur and Erode, a large number of agricultural workers, women farmers and human rights activists bolstered the Yatra with their enthusiastic participation. The public meeting in Madurai had hundreds of women farmers, who were highly appreciated by the national leaders traveling in the Yatra.

The leaders of the Yatra also visited Vedasandur in Dindigul district to pay homage at the Martyrs’ Memorial which commemorates the farmers’ struggle in 1978 led by Narayanaswamy Naidu where four of the agitating farmers were killed during police firing. The nationwide Kisan Mukti Yatra also began in July from Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh where farmers were killed by police firing during an agitation. The leaders of the Yatra vowed that by fighting in a united struggle, we should make sure that this kind of repression by the government is not repeated on the farmers.

Several members of the national working group of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) addressed the meeting at Madurai. V.M. Singh, the convenor of AIKSCC, said, “Compared to the organized sectors, farmers have been most neglected. Those working in the organized sector have the Pay Commission to ensure them good wages and income but farmers do not have an Income Commission. The Cost of Cultivation has increased, MSP has remained stagnant – this is the reason why farmers are going into debt and committing suicide. The government should ensure higher prices so that farmers get 50% profit above Cost of Cultivation as promised by the BJP in their election campaign.”

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Lok Sabha M.P. Raju Shetty from Maharashtra said, “The government is acting against farmers in all respects. Even in the GST regime, the Mercedes-Benz luxury cars face 6% GST, while tractors needed by farmers attract 12%. People like Arundhati Bhattacharya (chairperson of State Bank of India) are opposing farm loan waivers saying that they disturb the credit situation. The people of Tamil Nadu need to show the jallikattu spirit to get farmers their rights. Because of the Central government’s anti-farmer policies, I not only quit the NDA but will also expose Modi and the government for what they are.”

Yogendra Yadav, leader of Swaraj India said, “When I toured Tamil Nadu earlier during the drought, the government promised various measures like disaster compensation, rescheduling of loans, and community kitchens. Most of these have not been fulfilled. Nationalism is not about bashing Pakistan in TV debates and social media – it is about standing with our farmers in the crisis. But the governments of Tamil Nadu and Centre seem paralyzed on farmers’ issues.”

Dr. Sunilam, farmer leader of Madhya Pradesh said that he was happy to speak at a hall dedicated to Justice Krishna Iyer, who helped most people’s causes and movements. Dr.Sunilam strongly criticized the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. “The crop insurance scheme should have benefited the farmers of Tamil Nadu who suffered from unprecedented drought, but very few farmers benefited from it.”

Kavitha Kuruganti, national convenor of ASHA-Kisan Swaraj and working group member of AIKSCC said, “Tamil Nadu is the land of Narayanaswamy Naidu who showed farmers how how to get their rights from the government. It is also the land of Nammalwar who taught farmers how to be self-reliant. Now, there is a need for Tamil Nadu farmers to combine the spirit of both these leaders and join the nationwide farmers’ movement.”

Raja Pandian, district president of Tamil Nadu Traders Association declared its support for the Yatra declaring, “Without farmers, there are no traders. Production by farmers is essential to our own trade. We will fill trains to come to Delhi on November 20th and we will fill prisons if needed.”

Kameswari of Tamil Nadu Women Farmers’ Association (Vyavasaya Pengal Amaipu) highlighted the role of women in Indian agriculture and exhorted them to join the movement. Murali, State general secretary of People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) said, “We will take up a one-day fast at Madurai on November 20th in solidarity with the farmers’ mega-rally planned in Delhi by AIKSCC.”

Vijayamurugan, state vice-president of Tamil Nadu Vyavasayagal Sangam, Mathivanan from All India Kisan Mahasabha, Dr.Rengaswamy from All India Kisan Khet Mazdoor Sanghatan, and K. Lakshmana Perumal of Dindigul District Vyavasayagal Sangam spoke at the meeting. Christina Samy of Swaraj Abhiyan anchored the public meeting.

The other organizations participating in the Yatra events today were Tamil Vyavasayagal Sangam, Tamil Nadu Nilavurimai Kootaimaipu, All India Democratic Students Association and Vyavasayagal Vazhvurimai Nala Sangam.

The Yatra moved on to a meeting at Erode at 6 p.m. The South India leg of the Kisan Mukti Yatra started on September 16th 2017 in Hyderabad. After covering Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the Yatra will enter Kerala tomorrow, with events at Walayar, Palakkad, Kozhikode and Thamarassery. It is scheduled to end in Bangalore on September 23rd. The yatra is being held under the aegis of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, which consists of more than 160 farmer organisations all over India. The two main demands of the Yatra are Freedom from Debt, and Guarantee of Remunerative Prices for all crops at 50% profit above cost of cultivation.

For more information, contact: Balakrishnan at 94446 27827 and Christina Samy at 098438 11066.

South India (2017)

Yatra enters Tamil Nadu

PRESS RELEASE by All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC)

Yatra enters Tamil Nadu; Traders, Consumers, Tamil filmdom and Bankers join hands in supporting the Kisan Mukti Yatra

Chennai, September 19th 2017:  The Kisan Mukti Yatra entered Tamil Nadu today after successfully covering Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. In Chennai, a broad cross-section of society including traders, consumers, film personalities and bank employees declared support to the Yatra and the farmers’ demands, apart from a spectrum of Tamil farmer organizations.

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As the Yatra was welcomed by a meeting organized at SBOA High School at Chennai, Prakash Raj, eminent actor and director said, “When the farmer doesn’t feel good, it is not a healthy society, just like a family in which the mother is ill. Farmer is like a mother – they know how to nurture nature and how to nurture human beings, but the governments are not recognizing this.  This Yatra is an auspicious moment for all of us. We should come out in large numbers and speak out for the farmers. If the farmer comes to Chennai and feels that there is no one to support me, we should all feel guilty.” Director Vetrimaran and others also sent messages of support.

Thomas Franco, leader of All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA), declared support to the Yatra on behalf of his union of more than 3.5 lakh bank employees, and said, “I opposed my own chairperson when she said that giving farm loan waivers is not good for the nation. When farmers are in a big crisis, the country should do whatever it takes to support them. We support the demands of the Kisan Mukti Yatra including Freedom from Debt and Remunerative Prices.”

The President of Tamil Nadu Traders Association, Mr.Vellaiyan said, “Instead of supporting farmers, the government is importing foodgrains from abroad, benefiting the corporates. Farmers, traders and consumers need to come together to resist the corporatization, and save agriculture in our country.”

Speaking on behalf of the consumer movement, Shubha Bharadwaj of Safe Food Alliance said, “As consumers of food, we should all be alive to the condition of the farmers who produce our food. We strongly support the Kisan Mukti Yatra and the united struggle of the farmers for a dignified living.”

Leaders of many farmer unions of Tamil Nadu including Shanmugam, state secretary of All India Kisan Sabha, Vettuvalam Manicandan of Tamil Nadu Vyavasayagal Sangam, Ilangeeran of Cauvery Delta Irrigated Farmers Federation, Vimalanathan of Cauvery Farmers Protection Group, Krishnamurthy of Pondicherry Organic Farmers Federation, Sheelu Francis of Tamil Nadu Womens’ Collective, and activists of Tamil Nadu Women’s Forum, welcomed the Kisan Mukti Yatra and declared that the unity of farmers’ organizations across the country in the form of AIKSCC is a historic juncture and they are joining hands in this united struggle. The meeting was anchored by Balakrishnan of Swaraj Abhiyan, and Ananthoo of Safe Food Alliance and ASHA-Kisan Swaraj.

Speaking at the meeting, Sardar V.M.Singh, convenor of AIKSCC said, “Prime Minister Modi promised loan waiver to the farmers of Uttar Pradesh during the state election campaign. But he is the Prime Minister for the entire nation – he should deliver a loan waiver package for the farmers of the entire country. When we are asking for Freedom from Debt, it also means that in bad years of drought, the farmers should not fall back into debt. The farmers of Tamil Nadu paid hundreds of crores as insurance premium during 2016-17 but did not get any benefit.”

Raju Shetty, Member of Parliament from Maharashtra and a key leader of the Kisan Mukti Yatra, said that the Modi government at the Centre is one of the most insensitive governments which doesn’t care for farmers at all. Even when the Tamil Nadu farmers have been protesting for more than 40 days in New Delhi, no one from their government has come to even meet them and discuss their demands. Saying that the farmers should teach the government a lesson, he gave a call to the Tamil Nadu farmers to come to Delhi on November 20th to join the mega-rally of farmers.

Dr.Sunilam, senior farmer leader and former MLA from Madhya Pradesh, said, “The farmers are facing a huge income disparity. The lowest government employee makes Rs. 800 per day while those at the higher level make Rs.3000 to 5000 per day. A worker under MGNREGS scheme makes Rs.180 per day while a farming family on an average is making only Rs.50 per day per head. For the farmers to fight against injustice, we also need democracy to survive, so we farmers also join hands to protect the democratic spaces.”

Yogendra Yadav, leader of Swaraj India and working group member of AIKSCC, said “Farmers are facing three kinds of betrayal – from the governments, from the markets and from the society. They should forge three kinds of unity – across all states of India, across farmers of various crops, and across various categories such as landed, landless, marginal and tenant farmers, adivasi, Dalit and women farmers. This is what is happening in the Kisan Mukti Yatra and this historic process will force the governments to meet the demands of the farmers.”

Other leaders who were part of the Kisan Mukti Yatra such as Kavitha Kuruganti of ASHA-Kisan Swaraj, Com.Chandrasekhar from All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha, Kirankumar Vissa of Rythu Swarajya Vedika, also spoke at the meeting in Chennai.

The Yatra moved on to Thanjavur where a large public meeting will happen at 6 p.m. The South India leg of the Kisan Mukti Yatra started on September 16th 2017 in Hyderabad and after covering Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, entered Tamil Nadu today. Tomorrow , September 20th, the Yatra will cover Madurai, Vedasandur and Erode. It is scheduled to end in Bangalore on September 23rd. The yatra is being held under the aegis of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, which consists of more than 160 farmer organisations all over India.

For more information, contact: Balakrishnan at 94446 27827 and Ananthoo at 94441 66779.