BengalFreshly Brewed

Burning copies of farm bills warm up Lohri and Sankranti celebration

To prepare its support base for the Republic Day Parade across India, the AIKSCC has urged farmers to observe January 18 as Mahila Krishak Divas as well as the birthday of Netaji Subhas Bose on January 23

Kolkata: Bengal supporters of the farmers’ movement today joined in burning the copies of the pro-corporate three farm laws as well as effigies of the prime minister Narendra Modi and BJP MPs from the state in Kolkata and districts.

It was part of the ongoing agitation called by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee which has been spearheading the massive mobilization at Delhi border for more than one and half month. The Committee has declined to accept the intervention of the expert committee appointed by the Supreme Court pointing to the fact that all the four members are professedly pro-government. The court’s decision came on Tuesday along with a temporary stay on the implementation of the farm laws which is contingent upon the farmers’ acceptance of the panel. 

The AIKSCC, however, has reiterated its demand for the rollback of the laws as well as its earlier stand not to seek any judicial arbitration but political solution through the parliament. The government, however, has been looking for a leeway to get rid of the prolonged blockades at the gates of the national capital and suggested formation of an expert committee following the deadlock after eight rounds of direct negotiations.

farmers protest burning farm laws kisan
No Vote For BJP campaign event at Moulla Ali I Pix: Kasturi Basu

The farmers’ leadership has announced their resolve to celebrate the Republic Day on January 26 by holding tractor rallies in Delhi and other parts of the country in parallel to the government’s traditional military and cultural shows. To prepare its support base for the tempo, the AIKSCC has urged them to observe January 18 as Mahila Krishak Divas as well as the birthday of Netaji Subhas Bose on January 23.

Worried about its political impact inside and outside the country, the Modi regime is keen on the apex court’s intervention to stop the parallel commemoration of the Republic Day. It has cited security threats from Khalistani terrorists which the farmers have called a blatant lie to defame a peaceful democratic movement. The chief Justice has already asked the government to detail its threat perceptions.

farmers protest burning farm laws kisan
At Bhawanipur where there is hunger strike going one since several days, effigies were burnt on the call of AIKSCC I Pix: Arranged

In this backdrop, burning of copies of the farm laws and prime minister’s effigies raised the political heat on the day of Makar Sankranti at the end of winter solstice.The day was celebrated as Poush Songkranto in Bengal and Lohri in Punjab as well as Pongal in Tamil Nadu which Begins from tomorrow.

Reflecting on the unity in diversity in the cultures of agricultural communities across the country, the AIKSCC Bengal unit celebrated it as a day of united resolve of the farmers to foil the government’s bid to legalise its crony capitalists’ control over farming and agro-marketing. 

Copies of the laws and effigies were burnt at the pro-agitation dharna site at Dharmatala and Bhawanipur in South Kolkata by members of Netaji-Bhagat Singh United Forum and Justice Unifying Social Transformation (JUST). Meanwhile, Bengal against Fascist RSS-BJP, a non-CPM left civil society group held a street corner meeting cum dharna at Moulali crossing in support of farmers. The forum has been formed to run a campaign with the call No Vote to BJP as the assembly election is round the corner.

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