From The Indian Express: Yogendra Yadav, who is part of a platform of over 180 farmers’ organisations that have come together to raise key demands, says: “(One of the things) I have seen, which cuts across all farmers, is anger against government. This all-round disenchantment is more so against the current government at the Centre.”
From The Tribune: Two developments seemed to have triggered the current protest. On the one hand, bumper crops have led to crashing down of crop prices for the farmer. On the other hand, the crop loan waiver announced by the newly elected BJP government in UP has reminded the famers of their long unfulfilled demand.
From The Tribune: The drought has affected 21 of the 32 districts, including the ‘rice bowl’ area of the Cauvery delta, where we travelled. Farmers’ distress was visible everywhere. This is not just a natural disaster. Our travel made it clear that a good deal of farmers’ distress is due to man-made or policy-induced disaster.
Sayantan Bera reports: The sorry state of India’s farm movement is inextricably linked to the non-viability of farming now, said Vijay Jawandhia, a farmer leader from Wardha in Maharashtra. “Land holdings have become smaller and farmers everywhere are struggling to run a family and survive. Where is the time or resource to invest in a movement?”
Archana Mishra writes: Authorities failed to use MGNREGA and NFSA provisions meant for relief in difficult times. Even delayed wage payments forced downtrodden farmers to migrate towards cities. The national average of MGNREGA wages delayed beyond the statutory limit of 15 days is 62 percent of all wage payments for 2015-16, an RTI query revealed.
The PM patted his own back for meeting the CMs of drought affected states. What he did not mention that the CMs were given much less than what they needed and asked for from the National Disaster Response Fund, that too after considerable delays. The MNREGA too is starved of funds by the central government.
From The Hindu: A petition on a cricket tournament, rather than the plight of the people and its real culprits, has triggered media attention to the drought. Finally, it is the apex court of the country, and not its Parliament, that has found time to pay attention to serious issues of drought relief and mitigation.
Over 54 crore people across 13 States are in the grip of drought, and it is a multi-dimensional crisis. Highlighting this at a national consultation in Delhi, Yogendra Yadav said that owing to the drought, people were battling for drinking water and food, domestic cattle were dying a nomadic death and farms had turned fallow.
Having endured three successive droughts, the region of Bundelkhand in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh continues to be on edge. Governments in both the states have failed to do their bit. Here’s a press conference video and interview of Yogendra Yadav, who leads the Swaraj Abhiyan movement, which recently held an extended survey of the region.
Vasanth Srinivasan of The Hindu quotes former AAP leader Yogendra Yadav as saying, “there is a crying need for environmental politics” in India, but with the following caveat. “If green politics does not restrict itself as urban environmental activism but emerges as a binding agent of various marginalised groups and concerns, it definitely has a future in India.”