National Convention and a Photo Feature on
Agrarian Crisis, Assault on Cattle Economy and Lynching of Dalits and Minorities
March 20 – 21, Constitution Club of India, New Delhi
All Are Invited !
A spectre is haunting India : Agrarian Crisis and Hindutva. Farmers are rising up in protests, reflected in massive united actions across the country. The situation has been become worse with the sustained attack by the right wing groups in the name of cow protection on the cattle Dalits and minorities, having an impact on overall cattle economy as such. People are afraid to rear cows in certain areas, serious decline in cattle market, shutting down of the cattle fairs, and so on. Thereby completely destroying any supplementary sources of income for the farming communities.
The side of the story is that animal rearing has been a way of life for many nomadic communities from the Himalayas to the Deccan, irrespective of the religion. They are all now living in fear, forced to give up their traditional professions, are now migrating to the cities and engaged in begging or becoming completely rootless. This is historic, since they could survive the natural calamities and learnt to adapt but with this now its completely a desperation, since its their and their families life under attack from a force which no one is willing to take action against.
A series of violent mob attacks have undertaken in the states of Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and other states, mostly ruled by Bhartiya Janata Party, where State has turned its eye the other way and allowed them to continue. Rather than taking any action against them they have allowed them to flourish by their tacit support and pronouncements of their leaders from time to time in the name of Hindu culture and hindutva ideology. This has all led to an atmosphere, where farmers across different religions are fearing to rear cows, because they are unable to sell unproductive cattle and don’t know what to do if their cow dies due to old age or sickness, since Hindutva groups are resorting to barbaric attacks and communalising the situation. The society is sitting on a tinder box and ready to explode anytime, that’s what we are witnessing today. A phenomenon assisted by the penetration of the free data and the WhatsApp culture, where gruesome violence have been completely normalised.
The situation is worrisome and it is as much communal as the crisis of the agrarian economy, and the link can no more be ignored. The terror is being used by the dominant caste and religious groups to force Dalits and Minorities away from their land and resources and usurp it. This has been witnessed in Muzaffarnagar and many other places where victims have not been able to go back to their original villages and forced to sell them at throw away prices or just see it being captured forcefully. The growing attacks on dalits and minorities are damaging attempts towards changing the multi-cultural demographic profile of agrarian societies specially in the northern and north-western India. This imposes serious threats on the democratic and constitutional framework of the country.
The fight for justice and against Hindutva has to look at both the aspects and that requires engagement with the agrarian crisis, as much as with the communal politics. Bhumi Adhikar Andolan, a national level joint forum of over 200 mass movements and farmers organisations/ unions, has followed this dictum and intervened since 2015 on various occasions restoring and fighting for the rights of peasants, farmers, tribals, dalits and minorities. From collaborative struggles on land issues and agrarian crisis to fight against attacks on dalits/ minorities in Alwar/ Bharatpur, Rajsamand or elsewhere, Bhumi Adhikar Andolan continues to strive for equity and justice for all.
It is in this context that we invite you to a two day national convention on March 20 – 21 at Constitution Club of India, joined by farmers organisations, social activists, political party representatives, academics and the victims of the families of this violence.
The convention will be accompanied by a photo feature on the theme looking at the cultural and economic aspects of the same. The photo feature would bring home the point through images, data sheets, videos, sounds and so on.
Please also find the schedule as attached herewith.
We look forward to having you with us. Kindly do plan to come for the convention and stay for both days.
Bhumi Adhikar Andolan
Jan Adhikar Jan Ekta Andolan, National Alliance for People’s Movements (NAPM), All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP), All India Kisan Sabha (Ajay Bhawan), All India Kisan Sabha (Canning Lane), Akhil Bhartiya Kisan Khet Mazdoor Sangathan, Lok Sangharsh Morcha, JanSangharsh Samanvaya Samiti, Chhatisgarh Bachao Aandolan, All India Kisan Maha Sabha, All India Agricultural Workers Union, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Sanyukt Kisan Sangharsh Samilti, INSAF, Delhi Solidarity Group, Kisan Manch, Bhartiya Kisan Union Arajnitik Asli, Mines Minerals and Peoples, and Others