Farmer Protests In India
As the 10-day Pan-India "Gaon Bandh" (rural shutdown) protest called by farmers' group entered the fourth day, prices of fruits, vegetables, and milk shot up in metros and several cities. Farmers stopped the supply of essential items, scattered milk and other field-produce on the streets, to register their protest. There have been no reports of violence in the ongoing agitation. Overall, the protest remained peaceful, even as Opposition tried to target the BJP-ruled Centre over the agitation. Vegetables were sold at some places under police protection as well.
The 10-day Gaon Bandh (rural shutdown) farmer protest was called ahead of the first anniversary of the death of several farmers in police firing in the state`s Mandsaur. The protest started on Friday demanding loan waiver, immediate implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report on farming and higher prices for their produce. The Kisaan groups have also called for a nationwide bandh on June 10.
Appallingly, the farmers continued to dump their produce on roads to protest against the alleged anti-farmer policies of the central government. The protest in Punjab turned nasty when farmers stopped milkmen from supplying milk and spilled it at many places in Bathinda and Mansa district.
In Rajasthan, the pinch of the ongoing “gaon bandh” was felt with a rise of almost 30% in fruit and vegetable prices in urban areas. In rural areas, however, where farmers are protesting and selling their vegetables without any mediators, the prices registered a dip.
Traders at the wholesale Mohana Mandi on Sunday said prices will rise further on Monday if the supply of vegetables and fruits continue to be short. The prices showed a northward trend in most cities of Madhya Pradesh as well. The supply of vegetables in Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, and Gwalior went down by 30-50% triggering a hike in prices, wholesale traders said.
It is ironic that the governments who promised to provide a better living for the farmers are the mute spectators of the menace. No matter what happens, the farmers across the country are in distress. The central government as well the state governments seem to be least concerned. It is pathetic that those who feed us have to show up every time for their rights and privileges.