Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Sunday, Oct 02, 2005
Google



National
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |

National Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Farmers gather in Mumbai to protest "dumping"

Staff Reporter

If farmers can kill themselves, they can also make revolution happen, says Mahender Singh Tikait


  • "If farmers can kill themselves, they can also make revolution happen"
  • "If there can be free flow of capital, why not free flow of human labour"
  • "We cannot stop globalisation but the policies have to be fair"

    MUMBAI: "First we had to fight the white traders and oppressors who came as the East India Company. Now it is black [brown] traders and our government. The Indian farmer is not so weak. He has been driven to commit suicide. If he can kill himself, he can also make a revolution happen," said veteran farmer leader Mahender Singh Tikait. He is here along with thousands of farmers from all over India to protest the Government's World Trade Organisation policies and increased dumping of cheap subsidised agricultural goods. The rally will be held on Azad Maidan on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary.

    Organised by the Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers' Movements, farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Maharashtra are expected to take part. Yudhvir Singh of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, said that at the Ministerial conference in Hong Kong scheduled in December the Government was all set to lower the agricultural tariff for providing increased market access to the U.S. India's agricultural market will be swept over by subsidised goods. He pointed at the difference in subsidy to farmers between the developed countries such as the U.S. and other European countries running up to 60 to 75 per cent whereas that of India barely touching 3 per cent.

    He said: "How does the Government expect an average Indian farmer, who has less than two hectares of land, to compete with an average European farmer with around 1,000 hectares? We know that India cannot get developed nations to reduce their subsidy. We also know that they cannot give that much subsidy to Indian farmers. The only way out is protection by means of tariff which is also being lowered."

    Ajmer Singh Lokhowal of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, Ludhiana, talked about the inevitable globalisation and unfair policies. "If there can be free flow of capital, why not free flow of human labour! If we are allowed to do agriculture in their country then even we will be able to survive. We cannot stop globalisation but the policies have to be fair," he said.

    Vijay Jawandhiya of the Shetkari Sangathana said the incongruity of the policy had to be seen. "It has to be understood that the farmers who are selling in the international market at lower prices are doing so only at the cost of heavy subsidy. "

    Hundreds of farmers had already reached Mumbai and were busy getting ready for Sunday's rally. Azad Maidan was crowded with farmers and their families settling down.

    Printer friendly page  
    Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



    National

    News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
    Advts:
    Classifieds | Employment | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |


  • News Update


    The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
    Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

    Copyright 2005, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu