Farmers, workers to protest Centre’s policies in Delhi

Thousands of farmers and industrial workers are arriving in Delhi for a rally on Wednesday, April 5 on the call of Left unions

Representative Image
Representative Image

NH Digital

Thousands of farmers and industrial workers are arriving in Delhi for a rally on Wednesday, April 5, on the call of the All India Agriculture Workers Union (AIAWU), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) over declining wages, price rise, unemployment and an agrarian crisis. About 300 academics, actors, writers, journalists and defence veterans pledged their support to the protest.

The Left unions will hold the rally to oppose the government’s “anti-worker” and “anti-farmer” policies. Academics Prabhat Patnaik, Irfan Habib, Ishita Mukhopadhyay, Ramakrishna Chatterjee, Vijaya Venkataraman, Vishwa Mohan Jha, Ambikesh Mahapatra and Malini Bhattacharya; lawyer Ashok Agrawal; poetsKanti Mohan Soz and Subhas Rai; publisher Rajni Arora; Tamil writer RT Mathu; and artist Bava Chelladurai are among those who have issued the statement of support for the Mazdoor-Kisan Sangharsh.

They said the government was “blindly pushing ahead with its discredited policy of providing gifts to the corporates by cutting corporate taxes, selling off public sector assets at throwaway prices, dismantling protective labour laws, writing off huge corporate loans, and inviting predatory foreign capital into the country’s key and strategic industries hitherto reserved for the public sector”.

“The condition of the working people has deteriorated to an unprecedented level due to the notorious economic onslaught unleashed by the current government,” the statement pointed out. 

"Declining wages, rising prices of essential commodities, raging unemployment, falling returns for farm produce, abysmal agricultural wages, ever-deepening agrarian distress resulting in precarious migration of millions and floundering welfare schemes systematically curtailed by the government are pushing marginal families into severe poverty,” said the statement.

One of the organisers of the rally and economist Prabhat Patnaik told The Hindu that the Centre’s strategy has been to provide material welfare to the well-to-do and use religious communalism as a way of dividing the oppressed. The protest is to bring several groups together to defend their material interests and to prevent their impoverishment which is being imposed by the neoliberal policies of this neo fascist government.

“In order to divert attention from these policies, the ruling BJP, and its mentor the RSS and its affiliates, have launched toxic hate campaigns targeting minorities and threatening our basic social fabric. The government has provided shameful protection to these barbaric forces while at the same time selectively exercising the authority of its agencies to arrest, harass, and even bulldoze the properties of, those opposing its policies. It has also tried to hide behind pseudo-nationalist rhetoric and militarism even as it goes about dismantling the fundamental pillars of our Constitution – democracy, federalism and secularism,” said the statement.

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