Challo Delhi! Challo Delhi!! Challo Delhi!!!
Why Crores of Farmers in an Agriculture Dominated Country are submerged in Debt?
Why Lakhs of Farmers are forced to Suicide?
Our country is considered as agriculture dominated country. But over last 50 years our rulers has destroyed our agriculture under a deep rooted conspiracy. Instead of encouraging self-reliant agriculture they have promoted pro-capitalist- imperialist agriculture policy. Firstly, they humiliated peasants and agriculture workers by declaring agricultural activity as un-skilled lobour. Their entitlement of labour was devalued and by curtailing their entitlement, capital was accumulated for industrial and urban development. For the workers of state and organized sectors, policy of `one earner in one family' was followed, but the people associated with agricultural farming and unorganized sector were denied this basic human and constitutional right. Consequently, gap between urban-rural areas and organized-unorganiz ed sectors became wider; there by socio-economic inequalities unimaginably increased.
During last six decades, different political parties and their alliances came into power and promised for land reforms, but even today most of the agricultural lands are still under the grab of landlords. In the name of rural developments, successes of white, blue, yellow and other revolutions were claimed, but in reality all governments have ignored and destroyed agricultural sector. Whatever agricultural policies they followed, have further ruined the agriculture of the whole country. On the one hand cost of agriculture inputs rose drastically and on the other there was no any significant increase in the prices of agricultural produces. So, agriculture has converted into a profession of deficit. Consequently, agriculture growth rate got badly affected and contribution of agriculture in GDP slashed down drastically. In 1947 contribution of agriculture in GDP was almost 65%, today it has fallen down even below 17%. According to an estimate of National Agricultural Commission and Vision 2020, this share will get down to 6% by the year 2020, while dependence of population over agriculture will still remain up to 60%.
Similarly, the availability of food grains in our country is also decreasing continuously. In 1991 there was 177 kg. of food grains available per head, today it has reduced to about 150 kg. Only. Currently, in average 50% peasants of our country are under debt trap. In states like Punjab and Andhra Pradesh 80% peasants/farmers are under debt. In our country laws related to agricultural debts are very stringent and peasants are bound to pay compound interest and even more than that of the principal amount. In case if they are unable to pay back the loans, their property is confiscated as a penalty and further they are badly humiliated behind the `Civil Jails'. Due to all these systemic cruelties, today the food-provider of our country is forced to face hunger and to commit suicide. According to government estimation approximately 1.5 lacks of peasants have committed suicides during last 15 years. Recently, central government has announced some increments in support prices of agricultural produces and remitted of some institutional loans, but even than their destitute and cases of suicide have not halted.
The condition of landless and agricultural labourers who play important role in agricultural farming is also much worrisome. As promised by the various governments, they have not been provided either agricultural lands or minimum wages. Till today, no central wage act has been framed for these unorganized agricultural labourers and so-called Employment Guarantee Scheme has become irrelevant due to wide scale corruption and favoritism.
By the implementation of the policies of globalization, liberalization, and privatization and by entering into WTO, capitalist-imperial ist intervention and plunder have increased in our agriculture sector too. During the era of Green Revolution, new seeds, developed techniques and use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides were promoted, but now lacks of acre of agricultural land is being given to big multinational companies for building Special Economic Zones and mega projects, as well as in the name of diversification and export-oriented agriculture. For the benefits of these companies new provisions of `contract labour' and `corporate agriculture' has been incorporated in National Agriculture Policy. Very recently, for making organic fuel cultivation of Jetropha is being stressed. Many multinational companies are being invited for agricultural research and they have been permitted to produce genetically modified seeds, which are harmful for health and environment.
Under the guidance of WTO, Indian government has drastically reformed internal market policy, exim policy as well as procurement policy in favor of multi-national companies. They have removed quantitative restrictions and curtailed down tariff rates. Consequently, large quantity of food grains and other eatables are being imported. There has been massive penetration of big domestic and foreign companies in the areas of grain procurement, food processing, retailing, bulk trading and storage. The government has established Commodity Exchange for them, so that they could make huge profits by speculation and future trading of agricultural produces. In this way, our agriculture, which is the single source of the survival of our large part of people, are being transferred into the hands of domestic and foreign companies.
In this situation, it is the duty of all the communities involved in agriculture, and also of their organisations to organize massive mass movement against anti-farmer- anti-worker policies of the government. The Farmer-Worker Rally is being organised only with this very aim. We call upon all the pro-people organisations, specially farmer-worker organization, to make this Joint Rally successful by actively participating in it in a massive way.
1. Impart agriculture a status of skilled work and determine the equitable entitlement of peasants and agricultural workers
2. Fix remunerative prices for all the agriculture produces. Involve farmers' representatives while deciding the Support Prices, and strengthen, democratize and widen the government procurement system.
3. Implement vigorously all the land reform laws on the basis of `land to the tillers'.
4. Include right to work in fundamental rights and provide employment to all needy people.
5. Stop corruption in Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme; guarantee 365 day work under this Scheme and fix the wage at Rs.150 per day.
6. Increase the Minimum Wage rates for agriculture workers and make concrete arrangement for its implementation.
7. Abolish anti-farmer - anti-agriculture worker National Agriculture Policy, Patent Act, Seed Bill, SEZ Act and other Acts.
8. Throw out multi-national companies from agriculture sector.
9. Stop contract farming, corporate farming and future trading of agricultural products.
10. Ensure agriculture loans for the farmers, maximum at the rate of 4% per annum on simple interest. Abolish the system of compound interest and punish those who have recovered interests more than that of the principal.
11. Ban the seizure of property, civil jail and other humiliating punishments, given to the farmers who are unable to pay their loans.
12. Compensate properly to the families of peasants who have committed suicide due to the burden of debts and losses in agriculture.
13. Ensure at least 15% amount of total plan expenditures for agriculture sector and make arrangement of fertilizers, seeds, pesticides, irrigation, electricity and agricultural instruments at reasonable rates.
14. Take effective steps to counter calamities like flood, drought and insect attacks. Implement the crop insurance policy strictly in all states and areas, and provide proper compensation of crops affected by various calamities.
15. Ensure proper arrangements of education, medical facilities, water, electricity, latrines and other public facilities in rural areas.
16. Ban the production, sales and cultivation of Genetically Modified seeds with immediate effect.
17. Expand and consolidate the Public Distribution System and make arrangement of providing grains to all needy families at subsidised rates.
18. Give proper attention to agriculture science and research and revoke the "Agriculture Research and Knowledge Initiative" agreement with the USA forthwith.
19. Guarantee the safety of Adivasis' and forest dwellers' right over forest and land. Stop displacement in the name of development.
20. Stop making amendments in land laws in order to handover lands to Special Economic Zones and mega projects. Ban the purchase of agriculture lands by the rich persons, who are involved in non-agricultural businesses.
21. Guarantee the right of people on water, forest and land.
22. Come out of World Trade Organisation.
23. Stop importing grain and other agriculture produces. Stop the sale of Pepsi-Coca like harmful drinks.
24. Stop corruption and price rise.
25. Stop state repression on farmer-agriculture worker movements. Repeal all the cases related with farmer-agriculture worker movements, and release unconditionally, all the arrested farmer leaders and activists.
Sub-committee on Agrarian Crisis
PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF INDIA (PDFI)
B.K.U. (Ekta), Punjab, B.K.U.(Krantikari) , Punjab, Bhoomiheen Kisan Sangharash Samiti, UP, Mukti Vahini, Mainpuri, (UP), BKU, UP (Harpal Singh), BKU, Haryana (Fateh Singh Arya), Jan Mukti Morcha, Ajamgarh, (UP), Kisan Sangram Samiti, UP, Mazdoor Kisan Ekata Manch, UP, Bihar Kisan Samiti, Janwadi Mazdoor Kisan Sabha, Bihar, Janwadi Mazdoor Kisan Sabha, Jharkhand, Bhartiya Krantikari Jan Morcha, UP, Shkhawati Kisan Manch, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh Rythu Coolie Sangham (B. Satyanarayana) , Andhra Pradesh Rythu Coolie Sangham (M.V.Reddy), Andhra Pradesh Rythu Coolie Sangham(Ramesh) , Telangana Raitanga Samiti, Rayalseema Nikara Jalala Porata Committee, AP and
Kirti Bhatta Majdur Union, PunjabPrinted and Published on behalf of Rally Organizing Committee by Dr. Darshan Pal, H.No.900, Adarsh Colony, Patiala, Punjab