With their unions rejecting government proposal for amendments in the agri laws, the farmers from Haryana said they will now hold more meetings in the villages to intensify the stir.
“I don’t know technicalities as this is a task of our senior leaders but we are ready for any sacrifice. We have full faith in our leadership and will continue the stir,” says Ranbir Fauji, a resident of Ghickara village of Charkhi Dadri district. An ex-serviceman Ranbir, 55, is now active in the village to mobilise farmers for the next phase. “Now, we are ready to sit on dharnas in villages too.”
Asked about the government’s proposal for amendment in the laws, Ranbir said, “These laws have been imposed on us forcibly, so we can’t accept these.”
Ranbir is upset with Haryana’s crop registration system too. “My six-acre land produced 72 quintals bajra but the officials said only 40 quintal bajra from total can be procured at the rate of MSP. Where should I take rest of 32 quintal bajra? he questioned referring to the cap on procurement of certain crops.
A farmer from village Litani (Hisar), Karan Singh said, “We have repeatedly said we don’t need these farm laws but still they insist for the same. It’s like somebody is being forced to wear coat in summer. We will keep fighting against these laws.”
Despite government’s assurances, the farmers feel they may lose the facility of minimum support price (MSP) in coming years. But bigger apprehension of the farmers is for their agricultural land. They feel the corporates may grab their land later or sooner after introduction of the new laws.
Asked why they were not believing in the proposals by government, a farmer Narender Ghangas said, “We don’t trust their assurances. Why are they saying to give in writing for minimum support price (MSP) of crops? Why don’t they enact an Act for the same?” Ghangas has two acres of land in Hasangarh village of Hisar district. “It has become a mass movement now. Every farmer is a leader here. We are farming for our lands,” said Ghangas.
The extent of the agitation, as farmers say, can be estimated with the fact that the shopkeepers even in many villages kept their shops closed at their own during Bharat Bandh call of December 8.
A resident from village Fatehagarh (Charkhi Dadri), Yadvinder Dudi too was angry at the Centre for introducing the farm laws. “These laws have been introduced to take our lives. What was the need to introduce such laws that also during corona times? The government should seek apology from the farmers for enactment of such laws,” said Dudi, 48, who has 2.5 acres of land. “More and more farmers will keep joining the agitation till the farm laws are not withdrawn. It has become a ‘dharma’ of every farmer to join this agitation with passage of every day. This agitation has spread very fast in the state. We consulted the lawyers too who said these laws are not good for the farmers. Later or sooner, the mandis will be closed,” said Dudi.
Washing machine, LCD given for protesters
A farmer from village Badda (Fatehabad) handed over a washing machine to the farmers at Tikri border of Delhi so that they can wash their clothes there. Residents of village Jabta Khera from the same district handed over tent material and 40 mattresses. The villagers had collected Rs 80,000 to arrange the tent material. The farmers from Govindpura village of Sirsa district gave an LCD.