Dated : 22.02.2021
AN EARNEST APPEAL
Though the National media had been persistently distorting the issues connected with the farm enactments that led to the biggest ever agitation of the Indian farmers in recent times, the stir that began two months back had been gaining momentum every day. The Government characterised the movement as anti-national, backed by the terrorist outfits etc. and exhorted the peopleof the need to halt the ill-advised movement, but every segment of the society came forward to express concern, support the movement and express the need for a fruitful dialogue. The tractor rally organised jointly by several Kisan organisations being unprecedented caught the attention of the Indian people though very many attempts were made to tarnish the image of the leaders of the movement as also the movement itself. No doubt many in the country felt that Republic day being the most solemn and important day of the Nation, what was stage managed at the Red Fort ought not have happened. The agitation caught the attention of the world media and there had been innumerable comments from all over the world of the need to address the issue with a view to reach a settlement. The abject surrender of the Indian Press and the so called free channels to the ruling dispensation was a pathetic sight reminding of the emergency days. The famous comment of Shri L.K. Advani about the Indian Press in those days that they decided to crawl when asked to bend came vividly to one’s mind. Democracy as we all know can survive as a form of governance only when it is ensured that its dominant pillar, the media is really free, fearless and impartial.
Despite the untold repression and imposition of UAPA on many leaders the farmers movement could not be cowed down. Every trick in the book of chicanery was employed but the farmers stood firm, unflinching, scorning at the powers in governance; determined in their pursuit to victory. Had there been a micro-part of the courage and conviction demonstrated by the farmers, the Central Govt. employees could have written a glorious page of struggle when the promise held out to them in 2016 was not only honoured but discarded with disdain by the Government. Our weakness, amply demonstrated by our inaction naturally must have emboldened the Government to take away the dearness compensation in April, 2020 when the employees wanted it most.
The sale of National Assets, commenced decades back has continues unabated. The 2021 Budget has proposed to sell out the most profitable public enterprise, the Life Insurance Corporation of India. The sale is not for any strategic reason or advantage but only to reduce the fiscal deficit to comply with the terms imposed by the world lending agencies when the country adopted the neo-liberal economic policies. Even during the pandemic days, when the whole of the population suffered immeasurably, when all economic activities came to a grinding halt, the increase registered in the wealth of 100 Indian millionaires was of the order of Rs. 12.97,822 Crores. According to the Oxfam report, a worker in the unorganised sector will take 10000 years to earn the income generated by Mukesh Ambani in an hour. During this period the corporate tax was reduced to 22% from. 34.61%. India thus joined into the privileged club of the very few countries, where the corporate taxes are the lowest. The concessions extended to the Corporates cost the exchequer 1.45 laksh crore in tax revenue this year. The corporate taxes as a share of GDP came down from 3.5% to 2.2%, whereas the indirect taxes which affects every Indian citizen including the poorest of the poor rose to 5.1% of GDP in 2020-01. In 2020-21 It is expected that the privatisation of Bharat Petroleum, Air India, Shipping corporation, IDBI, Container Corporation, IDBI, BEML. Pawan Hans, Neelpal Ispat Nigam etc. would be completed.
The greatest impediment the farmers face today in going ahead with their just and peaceful agitation is the financial stringency. We feel it is the bounden duty of each and every citizen of the country to help them out to win the war; help them financially by collecting funds and donating it; extend the solidarity and support by organising demonstrative actions and do whatever that is needed to be done. We, therefore, appeal our affiliates, State COCs, all friends and admirers of the farmers movement to collect funds and remit the same to their respective CHQs who will remit to Confederation HQ. Confederation HQ will donate to the Farmers Organizations.