January 30, 2021 at 9:49 am #213277
And it is indeed an education.
Less than 2% of the population – i had no idea of the existence of the Nanakpathi.
We haven’t yet touched on any nationalist undertones of creating an independent Khalistan but we saw how the protesters immediately distanced themselves from the flying of a Sikh separatist flag at the Red Fort and emphasised the secularism of the protests.
The Punjab is called “the bread basket of India” but most of the land is owned by the small farmers. Even in the diaspora, the connections with the farms “back home” remain and we have witnessed some rallies of support in the UK and other countries such as Canada.
Are all farmers and land-owners capitalist? Does that mean that all self-employed and sub-contractors in Britain are part of the capitalist class?
Perhaps many identify with the principle of capitalist private-property
I recall the fuel strike as one example of lorry-owning operators doing the dirty work of the corporations and farmers blocking terminals with tractors.
Perhaps another analogy is the yellow-jacket gilets jaunes protests in France where the causes and participants were a confused mixture.
Or what about the uber gig economy? California voting for continued casualisation of Uber drivers, a case of cutting ones own throat.
But circumstances arise that highlights fundamental conflicting interests between the capitalist class and its subordinate and subjugated subservient suppliers. Perhaps the farmers will learn who their real friends are – the wide cross-section of India’s population who are supporting them now and who now have learned that they too have much to lose if the laws are put into practice.
January 30, 2021 at 2:06 pm #213282
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by Matthew Culbert.
Falling food prices seems to be a part of the background, and I’m not sure that megacorporations buying the farms wouldn’t lower food prices a lot further (they’d certainly have a short to medium term incentive to do so to crush their rivals). The economies of scale and improved technology would lower costs, I’d have thought. The cost in terms of rural unemployment would be horrific.January 31, 2021 at 6:31 am #213291
Not sure what you are getting at. Is this a general retail price drop? Or a farmers’ price fall?
The subsidised food prices for the poor is likely to rise.
The Food Corporation of India (FCI),the main grain procurement agency, buys rice and wheat from farmers at guaranteed prices and resells them at a fraction of market rates to 67% of India’s 1.38 billion people. The government pays the difference between FCI’s procurement prices and sales prices by allocating funds for the food subsidy in its annual budget.
FCI’s expenses have risen sharply as the guaranteed prices at which is buys common rice has climbed by 73% and wheat by 64%, while the prices at which FCI sells rice and wheat have remained unchanged.
The government said the food subsidy bill is becoming “unmanageably large”, and added there was a need to hike the prices of grains sold via the government’s public distribution system to reduce the food subsidy bill. With the rest of India’s economy demanding concessions in the coming budget…some sector has to be cutJanuary 31, 2021 at 11:04 am #213293
I was referring back to this:
“Second, and relatedly, food inflation collapsed. While this benefited both urban consumers and the rural poor, particularly small and marginal farmers that do not sell agricultural surpluses on the market and agricultural labourers, it also caused a severe deterioration of farmers’ income”February 4, 2021 at 4:07 pm #213489
All she did was ask: “Why aren’t we talking about this” referencing a news article about the govt. cutting the internet around Delhi to fight the farmers. The article linked to above is fascinating, massive Indian stars, including Tendulkar have rallied around viciously criticising a popular music entertainer for having a mild opinion on twitter. It seems India gov. is on full patriotic war footing.
Also the article gives notice of a big clash coming this Sunday.February 6, 2021 at 8:01 am #213550
‘Chakka Jam’ where protesters block traffic for 3 hours has begun across India in other states other than Delhi which has its own for some time now. But just in case, 50,000 security police have been put on stand-by.
At some places, like Bengaluru and Pune, demonstrators have been detained. In Kolkata and West Bengal, the farmer organisations have started blocking state and national highways.
This is ongoing.February 6, 2021 at 2:06 pm #213557
Is this farmers strike more than a Punjabi one?
As November’s bandh suggested – Yes. As today’s chakka jam confirms, yes.
Avik Saha, a secretary of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, an umbrella organisation of farmer groups, said about 10,000 places across India were blocked in the three hours. “Today’s chakka jam clearly showed the government that this is an all-India protest,” Saha said.February 10, 2021 at 2:27 am #213726
“…these were all “rich farmers” resisting reforms…”
The average monthly income of a farm household in Punjab, according to the last NSS survey, was Rs. 18,059. The average number of persons per agricultural household was 5.24. So monthly per capita income was about Rs. 3,450. Lower than the lowest paid employee in the organised sector.
The corresponding figures for Haryana (farm household size 5.9 persons) was Rs. 14,434 average monthly income and roughly Rs. 2,450 per capita.
From Gujarat where the average monthly income of the agricultural household was Rs. 7,926. With an average of 5.2 persons per agricultural household, that’s a monthly per capita of Rs. 1,524.
The all-India average for the monthly income of an agricultural household was Rs. 6,426 (about Rs. 1,300 per capita).
All these average monthly figures include income from all sources. Not just from cultivation, but also from livestock, non-farm business and income from wages and salaries.February 13, 2021 at 10:52 am #213830
An article that suggests that the Modi-friendly is trying to depict the Farmers’ Strike is a Sikh separatist movement and that Muslim extremists are also involved.February 19, 2021 at 6:41 pm #214052
“In the last five years, the number of sedition cases filed against individuals has risen by an average of at least 28% each year, according to data collected by Article14, a group of lawyers, journalists and academics.”March 1, 2021 at 12:03 am #214547
The Farmers Strike debate continues
Freezing to death to protestMarch 5, 2021 at 3:01 pm #214936
“The corporations would dictate prices, and they would have a monopoly over us. The corporate power over agriculture would make us slaves on our own lands.”
The capitalist market already does but Modi’s proposals may well grind the farmers face further into the mud.
Where did i read the situation is either standing in a barrel of shit, or doing a hand-stand in it? (Sounds like BD, to me)March 13, 2021 at 12:14 am #215246
I found this article informative
The British caused the famines by commodifying food from pre-Raj traditions that averted famine and post-independence, the Indian governments introduced interventions that mitigated the markets’ influence but didn’t fix the problem. And the new laws won’t fix either but exacerbate the situation once again for the benefit of the new Indian Raj eliteMarch 21, 2021 at 9:40 am #215744
The protests may have disappeared from the media’s headlines but it is still happening and there has been further developments. The further integration of the Indian economy to the global economy continues
There is an intensifying fight between local and national markets and global markets.
Instead of physically holding control of its own buffer stocks to stabilise prices for the farmers, India would use foreign exchange and then bid on the world market whenever necessary to boost reserves.April 16, 2021 at 2:57 pm #216981J SurmanParticipant
This article gives more details of what the govt wants to achieve, against the will of the people. As I think Alan suggested earlier it’s all about turning the country over to the big corporations – never mind about what happens to millions of citizens, and what workers have achieved over the years through their struggles.
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