After a year-long battle, Indian farmers finally defeated the right-wing Modi government and its capitalist masters, forcing the repeal of their three reactionary farm laws. This is a great victory for the farmers which has been achieved through a courageous struggle, which has been tenaciously maintained since September 2020.
There have been ups and downs in this struggle, but the farmers never gave in (read our previous coverage:      ). A great sense of jubilation is spreading among the groups of farmers and the thousands of people around the world who have supported their struggle against the Modi government.
A tenacious struggle
These laws were linked to a massive campaign of corporatization by the Modi government, aimed at ending minimum support prices for farmers, which are set by the state to ensure that farmers receive a reasonable price for their crops.
The new legislation was aimed at throwing farmers to the wolves of the multinational agribusiness, and their passage would have seen a massive increase in poverty, suicides, misery and farmer deaths (all of which are already endemic), while indebting them heavily to banks and companies. .
Farmers started their campaign last year in various towns in the states of Punjab and Haryana. Under the banner of Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), groups of farmers marched to the capital and held sit-ins on the main highways entering the capital, Delhi.
A huge wave of support started pouring in from all sections of society, including the working class, in India and abroad. The Modi government launched a series of talks with the leaders of the farmers, which later turned out to be a diversion aimed simply at slowing down time and exhausting the struggle. Farmers’ leaders realized this after 11 failed talks.
In this struggle, around 700 farmers have died, including our dear supporter, Datar Singh, chairman of Kirti Kisan Union Punjab, who suffered a fatal heart attack during the sit-in on the Delhi border.
Farmers fought day and night at the borders. They faced police batons, beatings and killings by Modi’s right-wing henchmen in Lakhimpur. Several were jailed and the mainstream media brought a deluge of poison to their struggle.
After the events of January 26, Republic of India Day, in which hundreds of thousands of farmers entered New Delhi and captured the Red Fort, the movement spread to the largest state in the world. ‘Uttar Pradesh. This dramatic development changed the whole situation.
Large numbers of farmers moved out of Uttar Pradesh state and other parts of the country and Modi unleashed police to crush early gatherings to prevent the movement from spreading to other states. But the farmers turned the tables and came out even more. The movement that was initially limited to the western part of the state spread to other parts and neighboring states.
The bankruptcy of the major parties
All traditional political parties including Congress, SAD [a right-wing, Sikh-centric party], CPI-M leaders, and others, played a criminal role, keeping a distance between themselves and the main struggle of the farmers. Once the fight garnered widespread public support, these party leaders simply danced on the sidelines.
In some cases, they have been forced to do an about-face under pressure from the masses. The far-right Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) party initially gave Modi its immediate support for anti-farmer laws. However, faced with the rage of a large number of farmers, they quickly did an about-face.
Congress and the other parties were completely compromised morally and had no basis in principle to side with the farmers – during their reign they were themselves the main architects of the corporatization of agriculture and the anti-farmer measures.
The Stalinist leaders of the CPI-M, known to be the butchers of Bengal farmers, brazenly kept their distance, hiding behind an alliance of opposition parties led by ultra-reactionary leaders.
Despite the symbolic support of this great alliance of thieves, all of their actions have failed miserably to help the farmers in their struggle. These parties have kept their grassroots members away from peasant struggles to ensure that they are not contaminated by the radical spirit of the peasants.
All parties agree with Modi’s operating policies in principle. Their only objection relates to the way in which they are implemented.
The role of India’s corruption-ridden justice and central administration has also been exposed. Initially, the peasant leaders had some illusions about the “powerful” and “independent” supreme court to settle the matter.
However, the Supreme Court did nothing other than form a committee of anti-farm leaders, experts and professors to “examine the matter.” This experiment failed miserably. When it comes to defending the interests of capitalists, justice is never independent – and this experience has been a great lesson for farmers.
The farmers defeated Modi and his capitalist masters with their own strength. They have breached the capitalist system itself, which relies on the state apparatus to exploit farmers and workers. The farmers defeated this device.
In the coming days, this could open up a nightmare situation for Modi and his crooks, including India’s biggest tycoons, Adani and Ambani. They will be forced to reassess the situation and possibly adjust their tactics.
Congratulations to the farmers! For a worker-farmer struggle against Modi!
Farmers deserve huge congratulations and the entire international trade union movement must salute their victory: they are right to celebrate their success. They set an example for the Indian and international working class. Only a determined and uncompromising struggle can lead to victory.
The International Marxist Tendency (IMT) has supported farmers from day one of their struggle. IMT has published reports and articles on farmers’ struggles and interviewed late farmer leader Datar Singh of Kirti Kisan Union Punjab. Comrades from ITM intervened in various labor organizations and unions in other countries to spread the message of farmers internationally. Motions were presented in the unions and many messages of solidarity came from prominent members of the international trade union movement.
Our comrades and supporters intervened in the struggle with revolutionary ideas and perspectives widely welcomed by farmers. IMT’s messages were picked up in the struggle by our supporters and reached out to farmers and their organizations. One of these was the call for a joint struggle of farmers and workers for an indefinite general strike to overthrow Modi’s government.
This coincided with the experiences of the farmers themselves who, under the impact of events, concluded that they must proactively approach the organizations of the working class and fight for a united struggle of workers and farmers. However, the Stalinist leadership of the Indian trade unions shamelessly isolated its members from the farmers’ struggle. Even without the involvement of the latter, however, the farmers bravely marched on parliament: shaming the Stalinist bureaucrats and showing the way for the rank and file workers.
It is a massive victory for Indian farmers. There will be more battles to come, especially when Modi and his accomplices reassess the situation and regroup to launch new attacks aimed at the corporatization of agriculture.
However, Indian farmers are now more vigilant, organized and aware than ever before, and they have the capacity to fight back against any significant attack. This victory will have a huge impact on Indian politics and will transform it in the times to come.
The bankruptcy of all opposition parties, including communist parties, is clear to the masses, and the decay of the entire political spectrum and state institutions has been exposed by this movement.
This will have unprecedented repercussions on the consciousness of the working class. For the past seven years, Modi has been described as infallible and invincible. But now the farmers have defeated him and his entire regime hands down.
The next step is to fight against the policy of privatization of the monetary pipeline, against which a general strike is organized on November 26, 2021. Farmers must support this strike and bring down this regime, while moving towards an indefinite general strike with all farmers. and workers united in action.
Farmers and workers in India need a political party that tailors its program to their needs. The goals of the working class can only be achieved through the overthrow of capitalism and the achievement of a socialist revolution.
A revolutionary party, based on the ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, must be built in this situation to carry out this immense task for socialist transformation.
Congratulations to Indian farmers on their victory!
Long live the struggle of Indian farmers!
Resist all other attacks from Modi and his capitalist masters!
Farmers and workers, unite and fight!