[WSMDiscuss] EN / FR Fwd : Statement of Solidarity with Farmers of India - URGENT Request for endorsements

Jai Sen jai.sen at cacim.net
Thu Feb 18 19:58:17 CET 2021


With apologies for any duplications :

Thursday, February 18, 2021

India in movement…, Farmers in movement, Peasants in movement…, Resistance in movement…, Democracy in movement…, History in movement…, Herstory in movement…, International solidarity in movement…

[Here is an URGENT Sign-on Solidarity Statement with the Farmer’s strike in India that has been generated in Canada, that has already been signed a wide range of organisations, so far from Canada but where they are looking for organisational endorsement (NB : At the moment, NOT individuals) - and from all over the world.

[Though the covering note is in English only, a French version of the Statement is also attached.

[Notes :

1)    Organisations only, not individuals (at this stage)

2)    SIGN-ON BY SATURDAY, February 20, 5 pm EST !

3)    PLEASE DO NOT REPLY on list !  Please send your endorsements – name of organisation, location – to Dolores Chew at dolchew at hotmail.com <mailto:dolchew at hotmail.com>.

4)    All kinds of social, professional, educational, and cultural organisations welcome to sign – please see the list of signatories below and in the attached statements :

Statement of Solidarity with Farmers of India

Academics and Activists Against Hate, Ambedkarite Buddhist Association of Texas (ABAT), Canadians Against Oppression and Persecution, Centre de travailleurs et travailleuses immigrant/es/Immigrant Workers’ Centre, Montreal, Centre for Study and Research in South Asia (CERAS), Montreal, Dalit Solidarity Forum-USA, and others 

            In solidarity,



> Begin forwarded message:
> From: dolores chew <dolchew at hotmail.com <mailto:dolchew at hotmail.com>>
> Subject: request for endorsements -- Solidarity with farmers in India
> Date: February 17, 2021 at 5:49:21 PM EST
> To: Jai Sen <jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net>>
> Dear Jai,
> Following requests from friends in India we're circulating this statement and requesting groups sign on.
> We're looking for all and any groups from civil society, etc.
> I attach the solidarity statement in English and in French.
> Many thanks,
> dolores

Statement of Solidarity with Farmers of India

The farmers’ agitation for the repeal of the pro-corporate farm laws has become the largest and longest sustained non-violent movement in Indian history, surpassing Mahatma Gandhi’s historic Dandi March against the abhorrent Salt Law of the British colonial regime.

The Modi regime rammed the farm laws stealthily through Parliament in September 2020, using its brute majority in the Lok Sabha, resorting to the questionable maneuver of a voice vote in the Rajya Sabha where it did not have a majority, and counting on the pandemic to muffle opposition outside Parliament. These laws were drafted without any consultation with farmers or their representatives, the farmers’ unions. The farmers have consistently opposed these laws, which go against the promises and commitments made to farmers by different governments over several decades. This is especially ironic given that Prime Minister Modi’s BJP campaigned on a pro-farmer platform, including making a minimum support price (MSP) mandatory and implementing the Swaminathan Report[1] <applewebdata://391A0537-C5D9-4DBD-B970-7A3405804A91#_ftn1> that is critical to saving India’s agriculture and farmers. The laws blatantly advance the interests of Modi’s crony corporate capitalists, such as Ambani and Adani, against those of the vast majority of the agricultural sector, effectively throwing farmers to the corporate sharks. 

The government and its propaganda machines, acting in the interests of a narrower and more exclusively corporate elite than any government has in independent India’s history, have concentrated not on finding solutions but on delegitimizing the protests and all who support them as representing special interests (large and rich farmers) in prosperous states. Nothing can be further from the truth. This movement goes back to at least to 2017 and the unions associated with it represent a wide cross section of the farming community from across the country - from agricultural labour to marginal, small and medium peasantry. The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) represents 250 organizations from 20 states, a unique broad coalition, from Dalit agricultural laborers to OBC[2] <applewebdata://391A0537-C5D9-4DBD-B970-7A3405804A91#_ftn2> small and middle peasants. In fact it is the AIKSSC which through a private members bill (supported by 21 political parties other than the BJP) introduced in 2018 a reform agenda towards making farming debt-free and sustainable. 

For several months the hundreds of thousands of farmers protesting peacefully on the borders of the national capital have faced and withstood brutal repressive policing including water cannons, tear gas and barricades in the near freezing conditions of a Delhi winter. 220 farmers have died as a result of the harsh conditions, a few unfortunately by their own hands as despair overcame them. The full participation of women in the protests, whether as tractor drivers or marchers, is another notable feature of the farmers’ agitation. Denying and defying the patriarchal stereotypes of rural north India through their participation in the protests, the women have demonstrated their full status as farmers on par with men. Another feature is the participation of older farmers, some in their 80s, providing evidence of the determination of the entire farm community to defy the diktats of a repressive regime.

After the false flag attempt of the regime to subvert the non-violent peaceful protest demonstrations on January 26,[3] <applewebdata://391A0537-C5D9-4DBD-B970-7A3405804A91#_ftn3> the farmers’ agitation has now entered a new phase. First, the already growing support for it from farmers across India is now even stronger, with vast gatherings or mahapanchayats of farmers held in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. Second, with the state’s vilification and criminalization of the farmers and those who have come out in support of them, including youth, journalists and human rights defenders, the movement has now acquired the character of a broad-based attempt to defend the very democratic rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution, most importantly, the freedom of speech and assembly and the right of peaceful dissent from and opposition to the actions and policies of the government. Third, the recent declarations of support for the farm laws by the IMF and the US government indicate the range of forces backing them, adding an anti-imperialist dimension to the struggle against them. 

As organizations that work to extend and defend democratic rights, we recognize that an attack on such rights anywhere is an attack on them everywhere. The farmers are literally sacrificing their well-being and putting their lives on the line to uphold these constitutional guarantees on behalf of all the people of India and are setting a glorious example to the entire world. Their heroism and their sacrifice deserve our strong support and our undying gratitude.

We salute the heroism of the farmers and pay homage to the departed souls who sacrificed their all to the larger cause.

We demand that the Government of India take the following actions:








Academics and Activists Against Hate

Ambedkarite Buddhist Association of Texas (ABAT)

Canadians Against Oppression and Persecution

Centre de travailleurs et travailleuses immigrant/es/Immigrant Workers’ Centre, Montreal

Centre for Study and Research in South Asia (CERAS), Montreal

Dalit Solidarity Forum-USA
Democracy Equality and Secularism in South Asia, Winnipeg

Femmes de diverses origines/Women of Diverse Origins, Montreal

Gursharan Singh Memorial Lecture Committee, Vancouver

India Civil Watch International

Montreal Serai
Pash Memorial International Trust 

Progressive Cultural Association, Calgary
Punjabi Literary and Cultural Association, Winnipeg

Sarokaran Di Awaaz, Toronto

Sikh Virsa International, Calgary

South Asian Dalit Adivasi Network (SADAN)

South Asian Women’s Community Centre (SAWCC), Montreal

South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD)
Teesri Duniya, Montreal


Jai Sen

Independent researcher, editor; Senior Fellow at the School of International Development and Globalisation Studies at the University of Ottawa

jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net> &  <mailto:jsen at uottawa.ca>jsen at uottawa.ca <mailto:jsen at uottawa.ca>
Now based in Ottawa, Canada, on unsurrendered Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282 2900) and in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325)

Check out something new – including for copies of the first two books below, at a discount, and much more : The Movements of Movements <https://movementsofmovements.net/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2017 – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?.  New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press.  Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>; hard copy only also at The Movements of Movements <https://movementsofmovements.net/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2018a – The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance.  Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>; hard copy only also at The Movements of Movements <https://movementsofmovements.net/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2018b – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?  (Indian edition). New Delhi : AuthorsUpfront, in collaboration with OpenWord and PM Press.  Hard copy available at MOM1AmazonIN <https://www.amazon.in/dp/9387280101/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1522884070&sr=8-2&keywords=movements+of+movements+jai+sen>, MOM1Flipkart <https://www.flipkart.com/the-movements-of-movements/p/itmf3zg7h79ecpgj?pid=9789387280106&lid=LSTBOK9789387280106NBA1CH&marketplace=FLIPKART&srno=s_1_1&otracker=search&fm=SEARCH&iid=ff35b702-e6a8-4423-b014-16c84f6f0092.9789387280106.SEARCH&ppt=Search%20Page>, and MOM1AUpFront <http://www.authorsupfront.com/movements.htm>
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