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Farming and farmers’protests are as intertwined as oxygen and hydrogen atoms in the water molecule. This is because the road to agriculture is paved with potholes and ditches of policy failures; inadvertent and some deliberate. Friction, jerks and, at time, big jolts in form of mass agitations seem inevitable.

India’s latest tryst with a farmers’ strike was far more significant: it was about taking the voice of the farmer to the people, not to political leaders or policy makers; it was about exposing the core of a critical crisis that will hit the aam aadmi, even if it leaves the politician unscathed, save at the hustings perhaps.
Farmers in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat,Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana put together a united front for a 10-day “gaon bandh” starting Friday, June 1, sending a message to urban India about what it would be like not to have their supplies of essential items like milk and vegetables. Their demands were many, from loan waiver to right price for their crops and the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations. In Madhya Pradesh, the farmers declared a complete shutdown of supplies to cities.
Farmers wage periodic fights for their rights across the world. The struggle ranges over the right to get inputs including water; to the right to save crops and livestock, farmland and life. No wonder certain states such as Michigan in the United States have enacted the Right to Farm Act to protect farming and farms. Modern and medieval histories are replete with instances of farmers’ resentment that at times have exploded into uprisings. In current times, one witnesses more of agrarian grudges venting themselves in frequent street protests.
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