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Call of the Kishan: Price, Prestige & Pension - Farmers Chetna Yatra from 4th ~29th November 2012

Call of the Kishan: Price, Prestige & Pension

Farmers Chetna Yatra from 4th ~29th November 2012

Not only the Slogan of ‘JAI KISHAN’ but we need the clear policy of Price, Prestige and Pension. This historical declaration is called by thousands of farmers under the leadership of Navnirman Krishak Sangathan. Since 3 years Navnirman Krishak Sangathan is involved in farmers movement on the issue of Price, Prestige & Pension. Within this period the voices of the farmers of Jagatsinghpur district have reached to many different corners of the state and the farmers are getting organized to protect their noble occupation “farming” and their self respect. The demand for Price, Prestige and Pension is being louder and series of meetings and demonstrations are being organized. A new era for farming communities is about to start in Orissa, if this momentum keeps on. In this regard a month long yatra is going to be started by 300 farmers from the 4th of Nov 2012 to 29th of Nov 2012 to make farmers aware of their rights and organize them to fight for it. At the end of the yatra a state level convention will be organized in the collectorate ground of Jagatsinghpur on 30th of Nov 2012. Here we seek your kind co-operation of all intellectuals, likeminded people, youths, students and all sections of people in every way to fulfill the above mentioned noble cause.

Background

After 1990, the LPG (Liberalisation, Privatisation ,Globalisation ) Process has brought a flood of exploitation to the farming community of the country . The small and marginal farmers as well as the middle class farmers are facing a cut throat competition in the same Globalization era. The complexity of the market web has broken the back-bone of the farmers. The farmer is not getting the minimum price for his agricultural crops what he spends or invests as money or human resources. Government has considered their labour as unskilled labour. Day by day farmers are entering into very distress condition. According to data of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 17368 Indian farmers have committed suicide in 2009. This is an increase of 1,172 over the 2008 count of 16,196. As per the 2009 data, it seems that more than 47 farmers have committed suicide per day. It means in every 30 minutes a farmer is killing himself. In Odisha more than 150 farmers have committed suicide in last 6 months. The international conspiracy of the Multi-National corporations like Monsanto and Cargill is coming through Seeds Bill-2010, BRAI Bill, 2nd green revolution to root out the sovereignty of farmers. In the above context, the suffering of the farmers of Odisha will be worst. So, it is very essential to organize the farmers community in Odisha to bring a basic change by non-violent coercive method for a pro-people policy of the Govt.

As it is seen that there is no organized state level farmers movement in Odisha except a few pockets of the western Odisha. In the coastal districts of Odisha, it is very weak. All the mega companies such that POSCO, VEDANTA, TATA, UTKAL ALUMINA etc. are creating the problem of displacement for the farmers. But, the farmers are fighting the movement in the same displaced pocket area in isolation. So, the State machinery or bureaucracy is suppressing the limited pocket based peoples movement ruthlessly. If the farmer’s organization will be prepared in the broader area covering the multiple larger issues, it can create a greater challenge for the State to take its policy in the positive direction.

The Village Republic Verses State Power

Till yet, all the experiments of Village Republic have been failure to control the State Power and its policies. Because the State is so powerful by its artificial finance capital and war economy that the root of Village Republic has been wiped out of the minds of the people. So, it has been more important to control the policy of the State that will be favourable to the Village Republic than to formulate, organize and implement the policies of the Village. In this context, unless and until, either the State power is captured or controlled; the policies can’t be formulated in the positive direction of decentralization. Some group of schools is trying to achieve the power through ballot politics and some are through bullet politics (Naxalites). In the era of globalization, based on capitalist economy, both the schools have given the zero results. The ballot politics has evolved the centralized capitalist structure and the bullet politics has given the centralized autocratic structure. Both the structures have broken the back bone of Village Republic.

Now, it is the right time to take a new method of politics to bolt the power of the State (Bolt politics) through peoples power by aggressive non-violent coercive method to control the policies of the State in favor of Village Republic. This Bolt Politics of Gandhian method, that is the alternative political line, will win the war against the State power to protect the Village Republic, the alternative model. In this struggle, the Village peasants will be the pioneer of this revolution.

The New Experiment of the old issue

There are many local problems of the farmers such that Irrigation, Water-logging, lack of cold storage etc. But, including all those local problems, we are addressing two major issues as follows:

  1. Every farmer should get Rs.5000/- (Five Thousand Rupees only) per month as the minimum security guarantee to fulfill one’s basic need of Food, Clothing, Shelter, Health and Education. Our late Prime Minister Lalbahadur Shastry had given the slogan “Jai Jawan, Jai Kishan”. But, it is seen that Soldier (Jawan) is secured at all levels, where as the farmer (Kishan) has no security and dignity. A Soldier protects the boundary of the Nation, where as the farmer protect the belly of the Nation with the food security by giving hard labour. But, Our Nation and its policies don’t give any respect and security to this born Patriot. So, it is truly justified to fulfill his/her basic need by giving Rs.5000/-(Five Thousand Rupees only) per month as the minimum security guarantee after 18 years who works with the soil to fulfil his basic necessities like food, clothing, shelter, health and education. This will be more about the dignity of the farmer than the security of the farmer as per the rules of directive principles of Indian constitution.

  2. The Govt of Odisha should declare the support price of one quintal of paddy as Rs.5000/- (Five Thousand Rupees only) and purchase the paddy directly from the farmers without the brokers .As it is studied that, when in 1972 the price the gold of 10 grams was Rs.240/- , at that time the price of one quintal of paddy was Rs. 80/- . But, now the price of gold has gone up to Rs.32,000/- such that near about 133 times more; where as Govt has declared the price of one quintal paddy as Rs.1250/- such that near about 80x15 times more. But, according to the exchange policy, the price of paddy should be more than Rs.10640/-. We ask for only Rs.5000/- approximately for the price of the one quintal of paddy as per the price of the gold in 2010 when the movement was conceived.

Brief description of initiative of NNKS

Jay Kishan Mahasamavesh at Jagatsinghpur

The important historical event took place on 28th October, 2010 in Jagatsinghpur district head quarter of Odisha, when five thousand farmers with the huge rally assembled before the collector office under the banner of Navnirman Krishak Sangathan without any political affiliation on the issue of 1-Rs.5000/- per month security pension to each farmer and 2-Rs.5000/-price per quintal of paddy. This gathering created a light of hope and aspiration for the farmers, majdoors and down-troddens of Odisha at one side and simultaneously gave a strong blow to the so called political parties, bureaucrats and the touts. People managed their own conveyance to come in to the meeting place and they participated in the meeting, with a great interest, continued from 12 noon to 4pm without lunch.

As you know that Navnirman Samiti, the mother organization of Navnirman Krishak Sangathan, came out of the super cyclone of 1999 in the Erasama block of Jagatsingh pur for the rehabilitation and re-construction of cyclone affected area through mass awareness and people’s movement. After that it has been working on different social issue based movements such that Anti-posco movement, Kandhamal peace process etc. Here we took the initiative to organize the farmers on the issue of price and pension from March 2010 in the same district of Jagatsinghpur.

In the month of March, a street play programme was performed on the farmer’s problem and played 15 days to know the response of the people. Since we got a good response, we tried to cover 194 gram panchayats on the same issue of price and pension. Out of 194 Grampanchayats the people of 150 panchayats sat together and decided 22 days Yatra named as Krishak Chetana Yatra continued from 21st September to 12th October, giving a collective call for Jay Kishan Mahasamavesh on 28th October before the collector office.

The chetana yatra created a magnetic surrounding to organize farmers across the state. So after this chetana yatra 5000 farmers came out for a huge rally in the district head quarter to bring a success story of Jay Kishan Mahasamavesh.

Farmers roared for Rs.5000 pension and price

On 16th December 2010 more than 2000 farmers demonstrated in front of Odisha assembly under the leadership of NAVNIRMAN KRISHAK SANGATHAN and demanded Rs.5000 security pension to every farmer and Rs.5000 price of 1 quintal paddy. It was not like a political party’s rally and people were not carried by trucks of politician’s money. More than 2000 farmers came out spontaneously at their own cost by the call of Navnirman Krishak Sangathan.

It is purely truth that, farmers are fully neglected and deprived from all the developmental process. In other hand present development process is being established at the cost of labour and life of farmers. Now a day government officials and politicians are getting salary and pension of minimum Rs.12000 to Rs.1 lakhs, but there is not any security pension for farmers. And cost of paddy is also so less comparison to other market produces. So how farmer and his/her family will survive?? So more than 2000 farmers demonstrated in front of assembly of Odisha on the issue of Rs.5000 security pension to every farmer & Rs.5000 price to 1 quintal of paddy. A team of farmers met Chief Minister and submitted a memorandum on the above issues.

Farmers locked collector office

This is the day on 23rd December 2010; thousands of farmers captured the Jagatsinghpur collector office and locked the all 4 gates of the office under the leadership of NAVNIRMAN KRISHAK SANGATHAN on the issues of non-inclusion of the district in the declared special relief package after crop loss due to untimely rain.

Untimely rain has damaged the thousand acres of crop of the district and lakhs of farmers have been affected due to it. But unfortunately District Jagatsinghpur is excluded from the list of declared special relief package. So irate farmers under the banner of Navnirman Krishak Sangathan locked the collectorate and offices of sub-collector, additional district judge and fast track court. Employees of the Collectorate could not breach the farmers' barricade and kept on waiting. On being informed, the additional district magistrate apparently came running to resolve the issue, but the agitated farmers did not pay any heed to him. They stuck to their demand that district Collector must sit across the table and explain as to why Jagatsinghpur did not figure in the list of districts where large-scale crop loss was recorded. Six-hours of resistance at the gates of the district collectorate culminated in a public meeting where farmers demanded a compensation of Rs. 20,000 per acre for the crop loss caused by incessant rain during the first fortnight of December. Akshay Kumar, State convenor of Nabanirman Krushak Sangathan, said crop loss in different blocks of the district where farmers were on cloud nine anticipating bumper crop was huge. “District administration has committed a criminal act by striking off farmers from the list of beneficiaries,” convenor of the farmers organisation said.The agitating farmers alleged that though many farmers have suffered 100 per cent crop loss, the surveyors have mentioned it as just 20 to 25 per cent.

Declaration of Jai Kishan Mahasamabesh:

Secretariat and Assembly will be locked

Jay Kishan Mahasamabesh of 10,000 farmers has been organized in capital of Odisha by Navnirman Krishak Sangathan on 29th March 2011. After facing all the obstacles created by political parties still ten thousand farmers from 7 coastal districts came out at their own conveyance and attended the Jai Kishan Mahasamavesh and shouted for Price, Prestige and Pension. Initially a rally started from Master Canteen station to PMG square with slogans like “Provide Rs.5000 as security pension to every farmer”, “Provide Rs.5000 to per quintal of paddy”. After rally the meeting programme was held at PMG square. Many eminent persons like renown social worker and Magasase award winner Sandeep Pandey, another Magasase award winner Water Man Rajendra Singh, agriculture policy analyst Devinder Sharma, Social activist and founder of Yuva Bharat organization Satyaprakash Bharat, Social activist of Kerala Mr. Sudhir Kumar, Farmer’s leader of Madhya Pradesh Mr. Sunilam and senior journalist of Odisha Mr. Rabi Das chaired the meeting programme as guest. Akshay Kumar, convenor of Navnirman Krishak Sangathan presided the meeting programme.

Mr. Sesdev Nanda farmer’s leader of Navnirman Krishak Sangathan said that now a day farmer’s community is suffering a lot. They have neither any social security nor price to their labour. Non farming communities like politicians, bureaucrats, multinational employees are enjoying all the government facilities and resources at the cost of labour of farmers. When government employees are taking salary minimum 12,000 to 1 lakh rupees, then why farmers should not get Rs.5000 security pension per month. He called farmers to be united and fight until fulfill of their genuine demand. Water man Mr. Rajendra Singh said that farmers are deprived from all facilities after independence of 60 years. Many lands are still non-irrigated. Government is only talking about irrigation but still positive steps are to be taken. Magasase award winner Sandeep Pandy charged that government is providing rivers to multinational corporations easily but in other hand there is no water in agriculture field. Farmers are backbone of the nation. But they are suffering a deep poverty and hunger. This is not a good sign for any civilized nation. He welcomed the farmers gathering and expected a positive result from this movement, which can influence the national level movement. Mr. Sunilam described the hazardous situation of farmers in the country and in his fire brand speech he called the farmers to keep continues their fight to wipe out the anti-farmers policy of the state and center. Agriculture policy analyst Mr. Devinder Saharma told that Indian farmers are living in very worst condition than American cow. He described that American cow has security to live in America but in India, farmers have not any security of their life. In last 5 years near about 2 lakh farmers have committed suicide. He said that presently farmer’s monthly income is five times less than salary of a fourth class employee and peon. So how a farmer will survive?? He asked farmers that there is only one way to survive, - be organized and carry on struggle. Otherwise government has planned to reduce farmer’s number from 80 percent to 15% only. It means by near future more than 50 % farmers are going to be displaced without any compensation and prior notice. He advised to demand for a formation of “farmers income commission” in the state and every farmer should get permanent monthly income as equal to monthly salary of a fourth class employee of government.

Navnirman Krishak Sangathan was declared as a state level organization in this meeting. Umakant Bharat, Rasmiranjan, Ramakant Jena, Ashok Jena and farmer’s leader of different blocks and districts gave their speech and demanded for Rs.5000 security pension to every farmer and Rs.5000 per quintal of paddy. Mr. Snehansu, Sanjay and Deviprasad made the programme energetic by their revolutionary songs. At the end of the Samavesh, this is declared that if government will not work positively to provide Rs.5000 security pension and Rs.5000 per quintal paddy within one year, then 5 lakh famers will come to Bhubaneswar and Secretariat and Assembly will be locked until government has not declared Pension and price.

The support we need

  1. We need the support of the activists those who can devote their time, skill and energy in the Padayatra and rally.

  2. You may send literature and documentary films ect. to give the information and motivation to the farmers to be organized .

  3. You can give the intellectual support by writing articles in newspapers and magazines, organizing the seminars and workshops on the above issues.

  4. The co-ordination is most essential between different farmers leaders, social activists and intellectuals. You may take the initiative in this regard to build the strength.

  5. Initially, it is very difficult to organize the financial support for the mass movement with a new concept. So, you may send your financial contribution individually or institutionally through Cheque/Demand Draft by the name of “Navnirman Samiti” payable at Bhubaneswar and send it through registered post in the following address:

    Akshaya Kumar, Navnirman Samiti, B-3, VinayakVilla Patia, Bhubaneswar -751024.

Hope, you must be co-operative for this National cause of creating a mass movement of the farmers to draw a final alternative political line.

With best love and wishes.

Akshaya Kumar

Convener, Navnirman Krishak Sangathan & Navnirman Samiti, Odisha

B-3, Vinayak Villa , Patia , Bhubaneswar , Odisha, Pin -751024.

Email-navnirmansamiti@rediffmail.com, Mob.09937427611,09437855306

Budget for the Farmers Yatra (26 days)

Sl. No

Expenditure Perticulars

Break up of expenditure

Amount

1

Vehicle cost for 26 days

26 days @Rs.2000/day

52000

2

Generator for Yatra

26 days@Rs.500/day

13000

3

Sound System for Yatra

26 days @ Rs.500/day

13000

4

Fooding cost for the meeting program 15000 Participants

15000 @ Rs.25/meal

375000

5

Tent for meeting programme

50000

6

Printing leaflets

15000.00

7

Miscellaneous (Stationary, Telephone & others)

30000.00

Total

548000.00

(Rs. Five lakhs Forty Eight Thousand only)

# 30% of the expenditure will be collected from community.

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