NEW DELHI—Farmers protesting against the three new farm laws launched the ‘Kisan Sansad’ or the ‘Farmers’Parliament’ on Thursday at Jantar Mantar, near Parliament. It was the 238th day of their protest against what they call “Black Laws”.
The ‘Kisan Sansad’will continue till August 9, when the monsoon session of Parliament concludes.
The ‘Kisan Sansad has been organized on the call of the Samyuk Kisan Morcha that is spearheading the protest against the three farm laws.
Farmers from all over the country are demanding repeal of the three farm laws, which they consider are against the interest of farmers and consumers. They have been sitting on the borders of the national capital for the last eight months but the Modi government is not budging an inch from its position on the issue.
For the last two days, farmers at the ‘Kisan Sansad’ discuss issues about the unconstitutional nature of the new farm laws, the undemocratic process by which the Government of India brought them in, and the severe implications that the law will have on farm livelihoods as well as consumers.
They showcased their intimate knowledge of this Black Law before the world and why they are insistent on a full repeal and nothing less than that.
Talking to media persons, Avik Saha, national general secretary of Swaraj India, which is part of SKM, said that the farmers could not go back with laws dangling over them.
“The government has no choice, and the farmers also have no choice. Farmers can’t go back home with this law. The government has understood that if they are here for eight months, they could be here for some more months or may be some more years. So, I think there is serious thinking going on to look into and accede to the demands of farmers. There is a way out of it,” Saha said.
Asked if the laws can be amended, he clearly stated, “These acts are such that they can’t be amended. There is a conflict between the objects of laws and what farmers want. It is like amending a donkey to make it a horse. It is not possible. It was created for a different purpose. So, farmers are saying repeal these acts and then sit down with us. Whatever you want in terms of free-market etc., we are not close to the idea. Let’s hear, exchange ideas, and create it together.”
He said that if the new laws are not withdrawn, “agriculture, food supply, and food security will come under the control of oligarchy. That is sure. That is written on the wall. One just has to read it. Why we just as a citizen of the country accept some people taking over control of our food security. This is not just about farmers. It is about everyone who is a food consumer in this country.”
The three farm laws which the farmers are asking for withdrawal are The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, and The Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act.