Down a different road: Yogendra Yadav and boys kick start Jai Kisan Andolan

Photograph by Ishan Kukreti

By Ishan Kukreti

Swaraj Abhiyan, started by ousted members from Aam Admi Party, Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan along with a few others, launched its Jai Kisan Andolan to address the issue of agrarian distress in the country today.

The movement for the peasantry was launched simultaneously from Champaran in Bihar, Hirapur, a village near the international border in Jammu and Kashmir, Vidarbha in Maharashtra and Kashipur in West Bengal.

The demands of the movement include the withdrawal of Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill (2015), a minimum income guarantee for the farmers and comprehensive and adequate compensation against natural calamity.

Talking  about the long unattended plight of Indian farmers, the group announced a mass contact march for creating awareness about the issue starting from 1st August. The march will cover 1 lakh villages in  10 days.

Yogendra Yadav informed the press about a Jai Kisan internship program that will be organized for the youth to raise awareness about agrarian issues in India.

“The disinterest of the urban youth in India towards the plight of farmers is not because they are insensitive, but because they are unaware. The internship will give the youth an opportunity to visit  agrarian villages and get to know the issues on a personal level,” Yogendra Yadav said.

Criticizing the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill of the current NDA government, Prashant Bhishan said that the Modi government has betrayed the farmers and his government is acting unconstitutionally by continuing the amended form of the bill through ordinance.

During the process, farmers joining the movement will carry a pot full of soil, ‘matki’ as their expression of protest and solidarity with the leaders.

The members said that the march which will end in Delhi after kicking off from Punjab, covering Haryana and UP. The whole thing will end with the farmer’s “tractor-march” to the Parliament, led by Yogendra Yadav.

“We will be helped in our endeavors by a 10,000 strong volunteer team and we appeal to the people living in the urban areas to also join the cause, it effects everyone,” Yadav said.