Many faces of Maharashtra's agrarian crisis -Ketaki Ghoge

Share this article Share this article
published Published on Mar 14, 2018   modified Modified on Mar 14, 2018
-Hindustan Times

Both, the farmers who undertook the march and those who went on strike, represent the wide spectrum of the state’s ongoing agrarian and rural distress.


Last year, on June 1, thousands of farmers in Maharashtra went on an unprecedented strike, refusing to sell their produce to markets and cutting off supply of daily necessities – milk, vegetables and fruits – to cities. The two-day strike forced the Devendra Fadnavis-led government to accept their central demand for a farm loan waiver.

A little over nine months later, on Monday, the Fadnavis government was brought to its knees yet again, this time by a ‘long march’ undertaken predominantly by tribal marginal cultivators, affiliated to the Left’s All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS).

But the majority of the thousands, who walked in the blazing sun for a week, this March, despite blistered and bleeding feet, marched to secure the very basic – the right over their land. Their central demand was implementation of the Forest Rights Act, which promises handing over forest-based communities the land they have been tilling for generations. The tribals from Nashik, Thane, Palghar and Jalgaon districts also marched for better access to irrigation, to government welfare schemes – social pensions to foodgrains under public distribution system. Majority of these marginalised farmers have limited or no access to institutional credit, and loan waiver was not on the top of their agenda.

Both, the farmers who undertook the march and those who went on strike, represent the wide spectrum of the state’s ongoing agrarian and rural distress.

“Historically, the farmers’ movement in the state as championed by Sharad Joshi or even Sharad Pawar has ignored the issues of small and marginal farmers or peasants. The ‘long march’ has successfully helped to highlight their troubles and broad base the farmers’ movement,” said Milind Murugkar, Nashik-based agrarian economist. “It would be myopic to not recognise how marginal farmers also double up as landless labourers and why employment guarantee schemes are as required by tribals in Palghar as small farmers in rain-fed Vidarbha dependent on monocrop.”

Together, the farmers’ struggles across the spectrum in recent years point to a desperation to survive despite crushing odds – pest attacks, hailstorms, drought, falling market prices, unfair land acquisition and lack of access to credit and irrigation.

Please click here to read more.


Hindustan Times, 13 March, 2018, https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/many-faces-of-maharashtra-s-agrarian-crisis/story-bO140HbeGKDw6IZCi2bdrK.html


Related Articles

 

Write Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Video Archives

Archives

share on Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Feedback
Read Later

Contact Form

Please enter security code
      Close