May 23, 2018, 10:42 am IST
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The road to Mandsaur

The road to Mandsaur

 Jun 14, 2017

Exactly a hundred years after Champaran, in Bihar, where indigo farmers went on an agitation that turned violent, farmers in this obscure Madhya Pradesh district have started an agitation leading to firings and deaths. This does not seem an isolated instance. From Muzaffarnagar in UP to Tamil Nadu to Haryana peasants have been agitating.

The recent decisions on cattle transport and even the demonetization have had their impact on this rural discontent. This also seems to bring the focus on agriculture and its impact on large sections of the people.

The Mandsaur firing that led to six deaths seems to have become the flash point. Congress Vice president Rahul Gandhi was among the first to rush to the place and prevented from reaching the spot. This has become the rallying point for a wide spectrum of groups to criticize the Governments priorities and highlight the distress. Already the kisan mahapanchayat has called for an enquiry into the deaths as well as the farmer suicides.

The loan waivers that the Governments in UP and Maharashtra have announced and the Centre’s reluctance to foot the bill have not helped matters.

Swarajya India chief Yogendra Yadav says ominously that the ‘peasant rebellion’ is spreading and faults the government’s faulty policy of production-oriented and not produce-oriented approach to the crisis.

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