In the darkness of nights, the Hindutva fascists and their trained henchmen are trying to attack farmer’s protests and provoke violence with the help of police. The objective of the BJP government is to discredit the peaceful and democratic movements of the Indian farmers. All slanderous campaign by the ruling classes against farmers movements have failed. But the days of Indian democracy looks gloomy as the Hindutva fascists standing in defence of corporations and their pet project of establishing agribusiness in India. Indian farmers are fighting against corporatisation of agriculture and land grab by the big corporations to establish full-fledged agricultural capitalism in India. The farmers have realised it from their everyday experiences from the 1991 new economic reforms that all economic reform programmes were carried out to promote and protect corporations and marginalised the masses. This realisation has forced farmers to reclaim their citizenship rights over their own livelihoods and land by opposing the newly legislated agricultural black laws.
The bone breaking north Indian cold, Hindutva threats and police intimidation did not stop the farmers to continue their protest against three laws concomitant with corporate interests. These agricultural reforms are detrimental to Indian farmers in particular, rural and agricultural economy in general. The apathetic Modi led BJP government refuses to repeal these laws even after nine weeks of peaceful protests. In spite of all nefarious strategies of misinformation campaigns, the Modi government has failed to contain the spread of the movement to different parts of the country. More people have joined the movement since it began. The farmers protest movement has revived hopes of deepening democracy, solidarity and peace across borders. The farmers movement is a new form of class struggle that breeds regional and international solidarity and moves beyond immediate interests of farmers and their class interests. It inspires brotherhood and reclaims lost peace, democracy and citizenship rights in a period of organized deception of Hindutva fascists.
Politically speaking, the farmers movement have provided much needed energy and hope to otherwise resigned political opposition in India. The opposition parties have revived their hope that Hindutva fascist can be fought and defeated. The farmers movements have also produced a new generation of young leadership committed to the idea of secular democracy in India. The defiance of the farmers protests are not only mounting pressure on the Government of India led by Mr Narendra Modi but also exposed the naked foundation of Hindutva fascism and its relationship with capitalism. It has provoked international solidarity movements in support of Indian farmers. The solidarity protest movements in Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Korea, New Zealand, Portugal, United States of America, United Kingdom and in different parts of Europe have given a sense of internationalism. The farmers organisations and activists in Korea, Indonesia, Brazil, Portugal, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh have extended their solidarity with Indian farmers and demanded to roll back the agricultural reforms.
All Nepal Peasants Federation, the Korean Peasant League in South Korea, the Korean Women Peasant Association, the Indonesian Peasants Union, the Landless Workers Movement in Brazil, the Confederation of National Agricultural Association (CNA)from Portugal, National Farmers Union in Canada, the Land Workers Alliance (LWA) in the UK, and the Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee have followed the best traditions of internationalism by standing with Indian farmers movements. These solidarity struggles reinforce human values of interconnectedness in struggles for justice beyond territorial boundaries.
The solidarity protest movements in Pakistan in support of Indian farmers have planted new seeds of hope for regional peace and unity. It helps in healing the wounds of partition. The two waring governments and the religious lunatics of both these countries have failed to divide the working classes and peasantry. The farmers of India and Pakistan suffers from the same economic policies of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation. The farmers from both these countries suffer from corporatisation of agriculture that empowers large capitalist classes and causes land alienation. The cross-border unity and solidarity of farmers and workings classes can establish the hopes for lasting peace, brotherhood and democracy in India and Pakistan. All the powers of Hindutva fascists in India and Muslim fundamentalists in Pakistan have failed to divide the working classes on religious and nationalist lines. The future of India and Pakistan relationship looks bright in future amidst the gloomy present.
In spite of all odds, the ongoing farmers movements have helped to revive the best traditions of Indian freedom struggle that shaped Indian politics and its constitutional practice. The call for brotherhood, non-violence, communal, religious harmony, peace, unity, solidarities, inclusivity, secularism and justice represent the best constitutional values enshrined in Indian constitution. The idea of India based on unity in diversity is rejuvenated by the farmers and working classes of India to reclaim the republic and reinforce their citizenship rights granted by the Indian constitution.
The farmers movements uphold the best Indian tradition of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family) that the Hindutva forces are destroying every day. The farmers movement provides formidable momentum to halt the forward march of Hindutva fascism in India. The electoral expediency of the democratic practice is not sustainable in spite of money and muscle power of the Hindutva brigade. The farmers movement dragged Indian democracy where it belongs. The issues of the marginalised masses and their collective class consciousness will shape Indian democracy in the next decade. The farmers movements have contributed immensely in shaping the collective consciousness to deepen democracy, secularism and welfare state in India. Therefore, it is important to locate the wider impacts farmers movements in India beyond territorial boundaries. These movements have helped to revive and inspire democratic struggles against capitalism to protect people and their planet.
India needs uninterrupted and continuous mass movements to safeguard inalienable and universal nature of citizenship rights and democracy from the Hindutva fascists and market fundamentalists. The working classes, farmers, religious minorities, Dalits, tribals and women are the best custodians of the Indian Constitution and its promises for an egalitarian, democratic, secular and socialist India. The farmers movement is a great beginning to defeat all reactionary, patriarchal, feudal and Brahminical Hindutva forces in India.
*Bhabani Shankar Nayak, University of Glasgow, UK