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The Kisan Long March | Mumbai City as an Arena for a new model of Class-Conflict



Our farmers are committing suicides daily, and agriculture is slowly turning into a non-profitable and undignified means of livelihood. The disparity in development in rural areas is forcing a class-conflict, as a consequence of the socio-economic weakness of rural communities. The arena of this class-conflict is the city of Mumbai, and the modus-operandi is a long silent march.

South Mumbai saw a congregation of 30000 Maharashtra farmers on its roads in the wee hours of Sunday. The six-day long march from Nashik to Mumbai got a lot of popular media coverage, and was termed as ‘Kisan Long March’. The farmers’ protest has drawn a lot of praise for its organizational structure and management. The Long March was carried out silently and peacefully on foot, and the timings to enter Mumbai were worked out thoughtfully so as to avoid any event of traffic congestion in the city.

While the Chief Minister of Maharashtra has accepted the farmers’ demands for implementation of Swaminathan Committee Report of 2004, which recommends a range of policy reforms, loan-waivers and establishment of fare ‘minimum support prices’ for the crops, the relevant points to ponder upon are these:

India is largely an agrarian economy, and the 21st-century Indian farmers do not have adequate irrigation facilities and are still dependent upon irregular monsoon trends for their yield. With the absence of sustainable, scientific and innovative solution to increase agricultural productivity, Indian farmers are practicing old-school means of cultivation. Our farmers provide us the food we eat, yet they live in a debtridden state of poverty and do not get quality education and healthcare.

Our farmers are committing suicides daily, and agriculture is slowly turning into a non-profitable and undignified means of livelihood. The disparity in development in rural areas is forcing a class-conflict, as a consequence of the socio-economic weakness of rural communities. The arena of this class-conflict is the city of Mumbai, and the modus-operandi is a long silent march.

It is about time we, the tax-paying and voting citizens of India, thought about our farmers as a nation, and contemplated a joint-action for their improved livelihoods.

A prosperous farmer will always ensure a healthy nation.
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